Adonai Mitchell Better Not Bust: Colts Rookie Chooses Jersey No. 10 In Honor Of How Many Receivers Were Drafted Before Him

Adonai Mitchell
@Sick EditzHD

Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard came out firing in his post-Day 2 NFL Draft press conference about how nonsense character concerns harmed the draft stock of Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell. As I said at the time, those alleged red flags were part of the reason Ballard was in position to draft Mitchell in the first place.

Time will tell if any of the purported issues about Mitchell as a person come back to haunt the Colts. The bottom line is, he fell to the 52nd pick in the draft, and in a loaded receiver class, several teams who were needy at the position opted to pass on him. In fact, seven wide receivers were drafted in Round 1, along with two others before Mitchell finally got the call from Indy.

To honor his slide in the draft, Michell has adopted the jersey No. 10 for the Colts in honor of the 10 wideouts who were drafted before him, as revealed by ESPN beat reporter Stephen Holder.

In a story written by Holder from the previous day about how the Colts weren’t concerned about Mitchell’s supposed character flaws, there was a telling quote from Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian to close it all out:

“The way he takes care of his daughter and the compassion and love that he has for her, I think that’s exactly who he was in our locker room and around our team…He’s a compassionate guy. A family-oriented guy. He loves to feel the love, but he also likes to give love. And I think that’s the sign of a really good teammate and just a sign of the character that he has.”

Sarkisian praised Mitchell’s work ethic and skill set as a player before that endorsement of who he is as a person. The report also touched on the notion that Mitchell is temperamental at times because of how he navigates life as a diabetic. Apparently he could get off-track with his medication, but is, per this report, focusing on being more consistent with that and is dialing up his nutrition with a private chef.

My only pre-draft concern about Mitchell had to do with lacking effort on a play-to-play basis at times when he was in college. Otherwise, there’s no doubting his electrifying playmaking ability. When he’s locked in, few boast a better all-around skill set than Mitchell among everyone in the stacked 2024 rookie class. He certainly has a competitive fire, which is evident in how demonstrative he can be on the field and also in his choice of jersey number. You can tell how much conviction the Colts had on Mitchell when they were preparing to draft him.

Detroit Lions superstar Amon-Ra St. Brown famously has a list of every receiver drafted before him in 2021, when he fell all the way to the 112th pick of the fourth round. The ex-USC standout can rattle off every single name, and looks that list over before any practice as motivational fuel.

If memory serves, I don’t think St. Brown went public with this until after he’d put up some serious production in the NFL. In Mitchell’s case, he’s coming right out front with a bold statement that he’ll carry onto the field every single Sunday.

I really do hope Mitchell isn’t a bust. Couldn’t be pulling harder for the guy, and not only because I have immense amounts of stock in Anthony Richardson becoming a top-flight quarterback and transforming the Colts into an AFC juggernaut. It’d just be kind of sad if Mitchell can’t get it done in the pros. What if he doesn’t outperform the guys drafted ahead of him? At what point does he just change numbers?

Good news is, Indy head coach Shane Steichen is one of the elite play-callers in the sport. Mitchell should also draw favorable matchups with defenses keyed in on other Colts weapons like Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs and tailback Jonathan Taylor. Not to mention, Richardson is such a threat to run that it should only enhance Mitchell’s chances of making many explosive plays as a pro.

You gotta admire the gusto from Mitchell here. We’ll see if he can back up the number on his back.

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