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NFL intrigued by potential of DaMarcus Mitchell

DaMarcus Mitchell showed his potential in a standout performance in the Music City Bowl.
DaMarcus Mitchell showed his potential in a standout performance in the Music City Bowl. (USA Today)

DaMarcus Mitchell is a physical freak. And the NFL has taken notice.

The New England Patriots sent a scout to West Lafayette on Thursday to work out the Purdue defender.

“It went pretty well,” Mitchell told “He put me through some good drills. He really liked me. He liked me a lot.”

Mitchell didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine, which took place earlier this month in Indianapolis with Boilermaker defensive end George Karlaftis and wideout David Bell taking part. But, the pros are still interested.

At 6-3, 255 pounds, Mitchell is an imposing physical specimen with vast potential that he never was fully able tap at Purdue for a variety of reasons. However, his combination of size and speed is uncommon.

The 6-3 Mitchell came to Purdue prior to the 2020 season from Southwest Mississippi CC, where he played running back as a freshman. He had his moments in his two seasons at Purdue, saving his best for last in the Boilermakers’ 2021 Music City Bowl win vs. Tennessee.

On that day in Nashville, Mitchell showed his potential. He forced two fumbles and made four tackles in the Purdue victory. He also had a sack and two TFLs, flashing speed, quickness, strength and playmaking ability.

“When I started doing the drills, he thought I was 245, 250 pounds,” said Mitchell, who made 34 tackles with six TFLs and sack in 2020. “I told him I was 255. He was like ‘What the heck?’ “

At Purdue, Mitchell played the LEO position, a hybrid end/outside linebacker. Where does Mitchell envision himself playing at the next level?

“Outside linebacker,” he said. “That is where the Patriots scout said they liked me.”

The New England scout ran Mitchell through the paces in the Mollenkopf Athletic Center, having Mitchell execute change-of-direction drills, backpedaling … even pushing a sled despite not wearing pads, among other drills.

“He wanted to see how fast I could get out of my breaks, how fast I could get to the ball,” said Mitchell, who made 25 tackles in 2021 with 7 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.. “He even put on a vest and had me push him.”

Mitchell spent the winter training in Fort Myers, Fla., at X3 Performance and Physical Therapy. That was the same facility that former Boilermaker and current Patriot linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley trained before New England selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft.

Next up for the Thibodaux, La., native: A workout for the New Orleans Saints on April 8. Before then, Mitchell will work out in West Lafayette and take part in Purdue’s pro day on March 29 along with Karlaftis, Bell, running back Zander Horvath, guard Tyler Witt, linebacker Jaylan Alexander and wideout Jackson Anthrop, among others.

The NFL draft is April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

“I think I did pretty well today," said Mitchell. "I just need to keep working hard."

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