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Former ‘Dawg Shows Out in SB51

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Malcolm Mitchell had his much anticipated NFL coming out party last night, in the New England Patriots Super Bowl 51 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Malcolm Mitchell had his much anticipated NFL coming out party last night, in the New England Patriots Super Bowl 51 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

The former Georgia Bulldog, a 4th round draft choice last year, had a rookie campaign marked by numerous peaks and corresponding valleys.

He missed a couple games due to nagging injuries over the first half of the season, but found his legs down the stretch, highlighted by 82 and 98-yard performances.

However, the postseason, up until last night, seemed like a different animal.

After missing the divisional round matchup, Mitchell caught just one of his four targets against Pittsburgh, a five yard grab.

Then, on the game's biggest stage, the Valdosta, Georgia-native emerged as one of Tom Brady's premier outlets, hauling in six of his seven targets for 70 yards, including a few key first downs in the second half.

Despite slipping to the fourth round, largely on account of health issues, Georgia fans have long seen Mitchell's potential.

He dealt with injury problems in Athens, as well, but, when he was healthy, Mitchell had nine games with more than 80 receiving yards.

His showing against the Falcons proved once and for all that Mitchell has what it takes to be a successful NFL wideout.

Now, with a ring and a handful of elite rookie statlines under his belt, Mitchell has all the momentum in the world going into the offseason and the upcoming 2017 slate.

As always with Mitchell, if he can stay on the field, he could continue to develop into one of Tom Brady's primary options -- he was third on the team in receptions in the Super Bowl -- and cement himself as a long term NFL-caliber weapon.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP