Draft spotlight: Cal OT Mitchell Schwartz

MITCHELL SCHWARTZ

POS: LT/RT

Cal's Mitchell Schwartz (6-5 1/2, 320 pounds) could be headed to the ATL.

Cal's Mitchell Schwartz (6-5 1/2, 320 pounds) could be headed to the ATL.

School: California

HT: 6-5 1/2

WT: 320

Arm length: 33 1/2 inches

40-yard dash: 5.33

Vertical: 26 1/2

Hometown: Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Key stats: He was named first-team All-Pac-12 for football and academics last season. He started 51 consecutive games for the Golden Bears over his career, 35 at left tackle and 16 at right tackle. He earned Cal’s most valuable offensive lineman award for the third straight seasons.

Since I’ve forecasted that the Falcons will select Mitchell Schwartz in the our first Mock Draft, we better give you some information on the kid.

My man Mel Kiper Jr. has him as the 10th rated tackle in the draft.

Pro Football Weekly has him as the fifth rated tackle in the draft.

Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly has Schwartz going to the New York Giants eight picks after the Falcons select Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has Schwartz ranked as the 10th best tackle in the draft.

NFLdraftscout.com has him rated as the ninth best tackle and is projecting that he’ll go in the third round.

Geoff Schwartz was a seventh round pick by Carolina in 2008. (Associated Press)

Geoff Schwartz was a seventh round pick by Carolina in 2008. (Associated Press)

I received a text from one my agent sources yesterday that read, “5 teams have Mitch Schwartz in the top 5 OL in the draft and top three OT. Cordy (Glenn is) not as high as you think.” (I had Glenn as the 3rd highest tackle, going to Arizona at 13).

There’s at least one team with a first-round grade on Schwartz, who’s brother Geoff played for Carolina. He signed with Minnesota during free agency.

Another text, “Falcons like him. But a lot of teams like Mitch in the second. 85 percent chance he goes in the second. But a lot guys like him before the Falcons pick. If he is there, they take him.”

Without further adieu, let’s meet Schwartz: (These are some of the questions the media fired at him at the NFL scouting combine.)

Q: Have a sense who might be looking at you?

A: Schwartz: I don’t know if you can ever really tell. There’s a lot of games going on. You kind of get asked different questions by everybody, so it’s hard to say who likes you and who doesn’t, who’s interested and who’s not.

Q: Where have you been training, at Cal?

A: Schwartz: No, actually in Nashville. At D-1 sports. I’ve been there, a little different for a West Coast guy, but it was fun, a good experience.

Q: How did you get connected with Nashville?

A: Schwartz: My brother (Carolina Panthers OT Geoff Schwartz) actually worked with the same agent, and he liked it. They had the same guys working out there.

Q: Are you a right tackle or aleft tackle?

A: Schwartz: I think I can play both sides. I think I’m quick enough. I think I’m athletic enough to handle the left side. I mean, in the NFL, you’ve got great [defensive] ends on both sides. . . I think it’s a little overblown, the whole right, left side type of deal. There’s a lot of successful guys on both sides who could do both if they’re asked.

Q: Toughest pass rusher?

A: Schwartz: This year it was probably [Nick] Perry from USC. He’s a pretty good player. On the field he’s a little bit quicker than he is on film. I’ve known that from the year before, playing against him, so I kind of had a good game plan against him, going into it. But he’s the speed guy up-the-field and he’s pretty strong on the bull rush.

Q: What you feel you do best?

A: Schwartz: I think I’m a competitive guy, a tough guy. . .one of our goals every game as an offensive line: to break the will of the defense. So I think I do a pretty good job of that, getting after them. I think I’m a complete player as well, able to run block, able to pass block. I consider myself to be a smart guy, intelligent.

Q: Did the Senior bowl affirm some of those beliefs?

A: Schwartz: I thought I played pretty well and I really didn’t know what to expect going in. Obviously, guys I’ve never really seen too much of, played too much against. I think I handled myself pretty well. Hopefully, I turned some heads in a good way.

Here are some of the other DRAFT SPOTLIGHTS:

Draft spotlight: Alabama NT Josh Chapman

Draft spotlight: Florida State LT Zebrie Sanders

Draft spotlight: Montana CB Trumaine Johnson

Draft spotlight: Virginia Tech RB David Wilson

Draft spotlight: Clemson DE Andre Branch

Draft spotlight: Marshall DE Vinny Curry

ProFootballTalk.com’s visit tracker

Players that the Atlanta Falcons reportedly held a workout with, visited the team facility or both.

Clemson defensive end Andre Branch.

Clemson defensive end Kourtnei Brown.

Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman.

Vanderbilt defensive end Tim Fugger.

Delaware guard/center Gino Gradkowski.

Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green.

Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward. Click here for STORY.

Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley.

South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram.

Montana defensive back Trumaine Johnson. Click here for STORY.

Georgia center Ben Jones.

Purdue tackle Dennis Kelly.

California linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

Iowa State offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele.

Cincinnati tight end Adrien Robinson.

California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz.

Oklahoma offensive tackle Donald Stephenson.

Clemson defensive tackle Brandon ThompsonHe was happy with his workout for the Falcons.

Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.

Illinois safety Tavon Wilson.

Falcons Draft Selections

The Falcons traded away their first and fourth round picks of the 2012 draft as part of the Julio Jones trade with the Cleveland Browns.

2nd Round (No. 55 overall) — Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California.

3rd Round (No. 84 overall)

5th Round (No. 157 overall)

6th Round (No. 192 overall)

7th Round (No. 229 overall)

7th Round (Compensatory Selection, No. 249 overall)

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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30 comments Add your comment

JSS

April 17th, 2012
6:30 am

Well he’s a clean slate for Hill. That has some advantages. But, your report says he is liked by a number of teams, so knowing the Falcons luck he’ll be gone…

bigslow

April 17th, 2012
7:28 am

Anyone with # 72 scares me now.

Coach LockDown

April 17th, 2012
7:49 am

The Falcons need to bolster the O-Line, but they also need to secure an inside vertical threat. Koetter keeps preaching this vertical passing game, and I do believe that they do have the weapons to get vertical, OUTSIDE! The most explosive players on the team are the furthest from the ball, there is no homerun threat in the backfield, and everyone is hollering about short yardage blocking…huh! A defensive coordinator worth his weight in “salt” will keep those safeties over the top or bracketing Roddy and Julio, so until we get an inside threat, that explosiveness will be minimized. Tony G is a hall of famer, no question, but he doesn’t threaten the seam anymore, and Harry D. is way too inconsistant. Falcons better load up that O-Line because Matt R. doesn’t move in the pocket well and his eyes consistantly pick up pressure instead of staying downfield, also Julio and Roddy will need to run dbl and triple moves to shake off all the “help” coverage. Attack one problem first, fix the O-Line!!

Coach LockDown

Khaos

April 17th, 2012
7:56 am

Behold thou Schwartz! Our 2nd round savior! He shalt recompense Falcons fans for all of our frustrations in this lackluster offseason! He shalt playeth multiple positions and fixeth all of our problems!

Fireth Smitty and Dimitroff

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 17th, 2012
8:34 am

Coach LockDown — Good points on the o-line. Inside vertical threats: Harry Douglas and LaDarius Green (seam routes) later in draft. Does that work for you? Douglas has to get it done now.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 17th, 2012
8:35 am

Khaos – You are up early spreading your “gospel.”

Delbert D.

April 17th, 2012
8:45 am

Sanders’ arm length beats Schwartz. The knock on Baker coming into the draft is that his arms were too short. Don’t make that mistake again. Plus, Sanders is probably as smart as Schwartz, having played a string instrument in orchestra. That takes mental agility and obviously hand dexterity.

tp

April 17th, 2012
9:16 am

Thanks for the info. I like it that he feels he’s a “competitive guy, a tough guy”, and his interest in breaking the will of the defense. He’d be a perfect fit for what the Falcons need if he stated that he “delighted” in knocking defenders to the ground or “accidentally” falling on them just as the official blows the whistle to end a play.

(Sort of) kidding aside DLed, can’t the Falcons wait until next offseason to address the TE position? It seems as if everyone (not you) assumes there is some sort of desperation to do something this year. Granted, it would be nice to have a promising rookie in camp this year for Gonzalez to mentor …

PMC

April 17th, 2012
9:41 am

Use the Schwartz!

Sid

April 17th, 2012
9:42 am

Khaos

April 17th, 2012
7:56 am
**************************************************
Too many trips to the Georgia Renaissance Festival?

PMC

April 17th, 2012
9:43 am

I’ve tried to like and defend the Julio trade since it happens because I think Julio is a great fit for this team, but if we go into the season without feeling better about the offensive line (left tackle) and pass rush, we’re probably going to have to wait a year to fix those major problems and that means lowering expectations for the fall.

Sid

April 17th, 2012
10:00 am

bigslow

April 17th, 2012
7:28 am
Anyone with # 72 scares me now.
*****************************************************************
That was Ed “Too Tall” Jones number, and Dan Dierdof, Diron Talbert, William “the Fridge” Perry, Ed Muransky………………………it’s a big list!

Mr. Phil

April 17th, 2012
10:23 am

DOL,

This is sounding like your Pouncey campaign a couple seasons ago. But then again, he did get picked by Pittsburgh just before Atlanta could get him. I am not sold on this guy. What do we know about his back? Heard it could be career ender.

D Money

April 17th, 2012
10:58 am

Don’t this dude have back problems that may shorten his career and have NFL teams unsure about him? We don’t need another left tackle with back problems.

Coach LockDown

April 17th, 2012
11:00 am

The Falcons have to get better at running the ball!! They can take a tackle in the 2nd, but how long does Matt R. have to hold on to the ball, before their explosive players get open, you know fans are already gripping about the “Check Down Charlie” syndrone that affected Matt R. last year. They have to make defenses feel that they will run it on 3rd and 3 and pick it up! 2 things that will do for you,1) it will set up your playaction passes much better and the only reason teams run playaction is because safeties and linebackers get nosey! but if you don’t have a run threat they will stay back in coverage(there goes that explosiveness). 2) it will keep a defense that is learning a new scheme on the SL and give them time to rest and make adjustments. I know this is a passing league, but look what the 49ers did, when they committed to the run and they had Alex Smith. You have threaten a defense that you will run the ball at any given notice and run them right out of the stadium. Look at Houston, their run game made Yates look impressive. I have my ideas on what the Falcons should be focused on, but a running game is a good start!

Coach LockDown

Jeff B

April 17th, 2012
11:15 am

May the Schwartz be with youuuuu…

Hard to get excited about a specific player in the 2nd… too many possibilities. But I agree that we should take o-line, if the value is there.

Sid

April 17th, 2012
11:34 am

PMC

April 17th, 2012
9:43 am
***********************************************************
I don’t necessarily disagree with you but I think we have already made some positive changes in both of those areas that leave me optimistic for the next drive to the Super Bowl. Coaching changes to begin with. Tatupu, if he can stay healthy (BIG IF), could make an impact on the D. Vince Manuwai ready to play. Let’s see how we do in the draft!!

Sid

April 17th, 2012
11:44 am

The Falcons finished 2011 ranked 17th in Team rushing. Michael Turner ranked 3rd in individual rushing stats. Maybe we should give him the ball more……………lol…..!!!

Sid

April 17th, 2012
11:45 am

Looking forward to seeing that NFL schedule coming out tonight @ 7pm!

ATLJBO

April 17th, 2012
12:17 pm

Whats up D-Led

Mitchell Schwartz is kind of hard to figure out…. The reason i say that because the guy looks like he cant play LT and doesn’t look athletic but when you see him play… The guy looks like he may be able to play LT… I still remember the USC game.. He completely shutdown Nic Perry… At the senior bowl he shut down anyone he went against (Ingram and Coples).. I also read a report saying he played some Center during Senior Bowl week and looked good doing it.

I think the team will like his versitility

Khaos

April 17th, 2012
1:38 pm

Sid

Too many trips to the Georgia Renaissance Festival? Nope. Watching my team get thumped in the first round too many times? Yup.

May we find gold at #55…

Fire Smitty and Dimitroff

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 17th, 2012
2:11 pm

Mr. Phil — His back is a concern, but not a very serious concern. It will be checked out.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 17th, 2012
2:22 pm

ATLJBO — I got directed to him. Just look at the sheer number of tackles they’ve worked out. He fits the Falcons profile the best. The Perry tape is a must-see.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

Khaos — Where’s the schedule watching party?

ATLJBO

April 17th, 2012
2:51 pm

Yea.. I saw that game during the season and again after the season.. He put in work vs Nic Perry… Ive seen the guy produce but he just doesnt look the part athletically… I just dont know can he play LT in the NFL… I’m on the fence

One guy i liked seeing is Donald Stephenson… I recently saw his games vs Baylor and Florida State (i heard his texas game is a good watch also) … I know most have him as a 4th round guy now but I wouldnt mind us taking him in the 3rd round (its the end of the 3rd round) … He is ultra athletic with good feet (good in pass protecting) … He is athletic enough for the screens and pulls (anything you need him to do) … He has the get stronger and get coached up for a year tho

Yogurt

April 17th, 2012
3:43 pm

Falcon Nation:

May THE SCHWARTZ Be With You!

BigTimeTECHFan

April 17th, 2012
4:52 pm

Falcons need back up QB bad, they should draft Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, or Kellen Moore

This will go down as best QB draft
Luck
Griffen III
Tannehill
Weeden
Cousins
Wilson
B.J. Coleman (sleeper, would be nice get for Falcons)
Moore
Keenum
Foles

DR. FALCON

April 18th, 2012
12:52 am

I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SCHWARTZ, LEDBETTER. GOOD JOB! MEANS SAM BAKER IS OUT! THANK GOD!

isproab

April 18th, 2012
8:31 am

I’ve not seen any notable analyst that list him as a LT in the NFL. I agree he is a top 10 tackle, but he is a right tackle. Who is the next best LT after Kalil, Reiff, Adams, Martin and maybe Glenn? That’s the guy the Falcons need to target. I honestly think its Zebrie Sanders.

MR. ATL

April 18th, 2012
11:20 am

DLED is there any news on Brent Grimes and his Franchise tag. Did he sign, is has he reported to camp?! Is he holding out?!? What’s good?!?