Tevin Mitchel's transition into the NFL will be aided by a former teammate and by advice from his father, who was also drafted in the sixth round.
Most players that are drafted into the NFL meet their new teams wide-eyed and overwhelmed with their new responsibilities, new teammates -- new everything.
Former Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel, whom the Redskins drafted in the sixth round on Saturday, will
certainly experience some of those feelings when he comes to Redskins Park for the first time. However, he'll have a slight edge – in terms of comfort and readiness – over the rest of his transitioning peers.
Aside from having a father who was also drafted in the sixth round by the New England Patriots years ago, Mitchel knows he'll have one teammate, Arkansas linebacker Martrell Spaight, with whom he's already developed a strong bond.
"It was weird, we were talking yesterday and we [were] like, 'What if we ended up on the same team?' It's crazy that it just happened," Mitchell told reporters after his selection. "So I just finished talking to him earlier and that's a great teammate. I'm real happy to play with Martrell Spaight again. Real happy."
Mitchel, whose locker was beside Spaight's last season, expressed his excitement to have Spaight's leadership skills back in the locker room. Knowing how to approach a professional environment, though, will be credited to his father.
"He kind of knows the ins and outs of how things go," Mitchel said. "You know that it's a business, so he talked to me all the time about, 'Keep your nose clean, stay focused, do your job. This is a business so you have got to go to work and you've got to do what you have to do for your family.' So he's helped me a lot throughout the process."
Mitchel played all four years for the Razorbacks -- a trait general manager Scot McCloughan said he looked for in all of his draft picks -- making 29 career starts. In his senior season, he recorded 20 tackles and two interceptions in 11 games, mostly playing in nickel formations.
According to Mitchel, he's comfortable playing inside and outside and loves to "fly around the ball and make plays."
"[We] did a lot of work on Tevin," head coach Jay Gruden said. "He had an excellent pro day, has excellent measurables, 6-foot tall. He was relegated mostly to playing nickel at Arkansas. But, I think with the measurables that he has, there is a role for him. He can run and did some good things at the nickel position."
Mitchel, who stands at 6-foot, 190 pounds, should get an advantage with his size as McCloughan hopes with most of his later picks that he'll be able to contribute on special teams, too.
That shouldn't discourage Mitchel though. The cornerback he models his game after also began as a late-round draft pick, used in nickel packages and on special teams. Then he emerged as a star.
"I watch Joe Haden a lot," Mitchel said. "I love watching his tape, his film. He's a great corner, he's real energetic and he gets to the ball as well. So I try to watch him a lot."