Colts select speedy Texas WR Mitchell in second round

Apr. 26—INDIANAPOLIS — Adonai Mitchell showed a bit of his competitive edge Friday night, shortly after the Indianapolis Colts made him the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft.

The Big 12 Newcomer of the Year was the 11th wide receiver picked in a deep draft class. And the wait did not sit well with the former Texas standout.

"Right now, the only thing I'm feeling is I'm just kind of pissed," Mitchell said. "I don't really know what other way to call it. I'm just excited to work, excited to get there, be the best teammate I can be, be the best person and ultimately the best player I could be for the team.

"It's been a long time coming, and all the people that were here for the moment, those are the people that I truly love, and I'm truly grateful to even have them around."

A transfer from Georgia, Mitchell caught 55 passes for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns during his lone season at Texas.

That came after he totaled 38 catches in two seasons with the Bulldogs, but Mitchell credited the improvement to simple good health.

He was selected to the All-Big 12 second team, and his 11 touchdowns tied for the fifth-most in a single season in Longhorns' history.

Colts head coach Shane Steichen and wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne attended Texas' Pro Day and were among Mitchell's more vocal supporters.

"They were beating the drum for a while now," Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard said. "They think — I mean, we all did. Look, he's an extremely talented young man, and I think we're all really excited to get him."

Mitchell is excited to get to work with second-year Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson and hopes to make life easier for his one-time Southeastern Conference rival.

"As a quarterback, you always want to be perfect, throw the perfect pass, make the perfect read. I feel like, with my ability, I don't like my quarterback having that much pressure on him," Mitchell said. "Sometimes if he needs to throw it a little high, I don't care. Just throw it in the area, and ain't nobody coming down with it but me.

"That's just my mentality as a receiver, and (I'm) really just coming in, stepping in, knowing that the only way I'm getting on the field is if I learn the playbook. And just getting ready to do that."

Getting to work was a theme of Mitchell's 10-minute video conference call with the media.

Mitchell expressed gratitude to the Indianapolis organization for finally taking him off the board and said he's looking forward to joining his new teammates.

"(Richardson) is just a freak athlete, extremely talented, but very high ceiling, and I'm just blessed to be able to share the offense with him and excited to learn with him, excited to grow with him," Mitchell said. "Really just excited to grow with everybody. Just embracing the new environment, embracing the new teammates. I'm looking forward to everything."

He joins a depth chart with returning starters Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs and Alec Pierce.

Mitchell averaged 15.4 yards per reception at Texas, and the deep ball is the most polished part of his game.

There is room for improvement with his route running, and his effort on a snap-to-snap basis has been questioned.

Anonymous reports also suggested the wide receiver did not interview well with teams and left a poor impression with many decision makers.

It's a topic Ballard pushed back strongly against in an often profane tirade.

"Our typical league, unnamed sources, bad interview, that's such (bullcrap)," Ballard said. "It (expletive) is. It's (bullcrap). Put your name on it. I'm tired of — we tear these young men down. These are 21-, 22-year-old men, and if people out there can tell me they're perfect in their lives — it's crap. It's crap. This is a good kid."

Mitchell noted every rookie starts with a clean slate in the NFL, and he's willing to silence any doubters on the field.

"I'm just ready to work," Mitchell said. "At the end of the day, people were chosen before me. That's just the reality of it, and my job now is to make them pay and to bring the best version of me every day to the Indianapolis Colts."