Johnny Mitchell

For other people named Johnny Mitchell, see Johnny Mitchell (disambiguation).
Johnny Mitchell
No. 86
Position: Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-01-20) January 20, 1971
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Chicago (IL) Simeon
College: Nebraska
NFL Draft: 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 159
Receiving yards: 2,103
Receiving TDs: 16
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Johnny Mitchell, Jr. (born January 20, 1971) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League for the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Nebraska.

Early years

Mitchell graduated from Simeon Career Academy (then known as Simeon Vocational High School) in 1989, where his athletic ability allowed him to play multiple positions including quarterback and defensive end. As a senior he helped his team reach the city finals.

Although he had initially agreed to attended the University of Miami, after head coach Jimmy Johnson left to coach the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, he accepted a football scholarship from the University of Nebraska.[1]

He became the first freshman from Nebraska to make the All-Big Eight first team since 1946, tied the school record for touchdown receptions by a tight end in a season (6) and set a school record with a 25.6-average per reception.

In 1991, he set school records for tight ends when he had a team-leading 31 receptions for 534 yards and five touchdowns. He also set two school single-game records for receptions and yards by a tight end in the season finale against the University of Oklahoma, when he had 7 catches for 137 yards.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his sophomore season, becoming the first Nebraska player to leave school for the NFL before his eligibility had expired.[2]

Professional career

New York Jets (first stint)

Mitchell was selected by the New York Jets in the first round (15th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft, after improving his draft stock through his athletic performance at the NFL Combine, even though he was seen as a raw player. Being a 21-year old rookie, he had difficulty adapting to the professional game and registered 16 receptions for 210 yards and one touchdown.

In his second season, he was among the league's leaders for tight ends with 39 receptions for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns. In 1994, he had his best season under head coach Pete Carroll, registering 58 receptions for 749 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In 1995, new head coach Rich Kotite took over and selected tight end Kyle Brady with the team's number one selection in the 1992 NFL Draft. Mitchell numbers would drop to 45 receptions for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns, after missing 4 games with a back injury.[3]

The Jets designated him as their franchise player before the 1996 season an tried to trade him, but ended granting him his release on April 23.[4]

Miami Dolphins

On July 17, 1996, he signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins who at the time were coached by Jimmy Johnson, but walked out of training camp after 12 days and announced his retirement at the age of 25.[5]

Dallas Cowboys

On November 21, 1996, the Dallas Cowboys convinced Mitchell to come out of retirement and signed him for depth purposes after dealing with injuries to tight ends Jay Novacek and Eric Bjornson.[6] He played in 4 games (one start), registering one reception for 17 yards. He wasn't re-signed after the season.

New York Jets (second stint)

In 1999, Mitchell asked head coach Bill Parcells for an opportunity to re-start his career. He was signed to a free agent contract, but lasted only one day in training camp, leaving in the middle of the night without telling anyone his intentions.[7] He later announced his retirement.

New Orleans Saints

On June 4, 2001, he signed with the New Orleans Saints after being out of football for 4 years, who were looking to protect themselves in case Cam Cleeland could not recover from the previous year Achilles' tendon injury. On September 2, he was released after being passed on the depth chart by rookie Boo Williams. On December 26, he was re-signed after Cleeland was placed on the injured reserve list with an Achilles injury. He was released on August 20, 2002.

Jacksonville Jaguars

On April 14, 2003, he was signed as a free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were experiencing a contract hold out by tight end Kyle Brady. He was released on August 10.[8]

Personal life

He is currently serving as a studio analyst for British television channel Sky Sports on their live NFL coverage, as well on ESPN Brasil and is the head coach for the Coritiba Crocodiles.[9]

Mitchell now also works part-time at Scarisbrick Hall School teaching young people American Football and Baseball. In the football season 2013/14 he won with the Coritiba Crocodiles the National Football Championship in Brasil. For the Coritiba Crocodiles the first Championship success after failures in the half finale and finale as well. He also brought part-time based a lot of fun to Kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten and even Nursery children's from the International School of Curitiba with teaching T-ball.


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