CFHOF Profile: Derrell “Mookie” Mitchell

MITCHELL STRODE DYENo matter the league here are always certain accomplishments that every athlete aims for on a season by season basis.

In football, it is usually a benchmark on which a season is measured as either a success or just a good season.

The mark can be different based on the league or based on the position someone plays with yardage varying for everyone.

In the CFL there are set benchmarks that every player heads into the season looking for to determine if their season was a success.

For quarterbacks, that benchmark is usually around 4,000 yards as the passing league makes it easier to reach the 3,000-yard mark.

Getting to 4,000 for a quarterback is a big deal as it means that the season was a good one and that they were able to get things moving on offence.

Anything above that is putting in a unique season with a number of players reaching 5,000 yards and only five players every reaching the 6,000-yard mark.

On the other side of all of those throws is usually a host of receivers who share the receptions fairly evenly.

As a result of the ability to spread things around the benchmark for a receiver is closer to 1,000 yards.

Earning that 1,000-yard mark in a season is a good year for any receiving and when seasons start every receiver is looking to reach that point.

It usually means that the receiver is becoming a favourite target in offences that never really focus on one receiver.

To get to 1,000 yards is a great accomplishment in a season and a number of receivers have put together multiple seasons with over 1,000 yards and usually, those players end up among the greatest of all time.

Then there is the ultimate goal for every receiver that begins a season and that is to double that amount of yardage and reach 2,000.

The 2,000-yard season is an exclusive club with only three members in the history of the league to reach that number.

Not even the best receiver in the history of the league, Milt Stegall, reached the 2,000-yard mark, although he did put together plenty of seasons with over 1,000 yards.

One of those exclusive members of the 2,000-yard club will enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame this year as a member of the Class of 2016.d-mitchell2

Derrell Mitchell, or better known by his nickname “Mookie,” put together his best season ever in 1998 when he just broke the mark with 2,000 yards exactly.

It was three yards off of the second best season in Terry Greer and 36 yards off of the single-season record held by Allen Pitts.

Mitchell made his name on that season but it was far from the only good season he had in the CFL.

Mitchell was one of the most prolific pass catchers in the game and his great play started early.

His rookie year was one of the multiple years with over 1,000 yards on the season with 1,457 yards and 17 touchdowns with the Toronto Argonauts.

It was a great start to what became a great career for Mitchell who became one of the most reliable targets for the Argos.

To go along with his 2,000-yard season in 1998 Mitchell broke the record for most receptions in a single season with 160, a record he still holds and tied a record for most receptions in a game with 16.

He was the go-to guy in Toronto and became one of the best receivers in the game throughout his career.

He made the early impact with big seasons early and in his rookie year helped the Argos to the Grey Cup.

When he eventually left to Edmonton he became the veteran presence on the team and once again he helped his team reach and win the Grey Cup.

When speaking of the best receivers of all-time Mitchell is usually a forgotten player in the discussion.

Names like Stegall, Flutie, Simon, and Pitts often are rattled off in the debates but Mitchell is never mentioned among them.

Yet he remained one of the top receivers throughout his career never straying far away from that 1,000-yard mark throughout his time in the league.

He consistently reached that mark that every receiver still uses as a benchmark for their season but consistency rarely means much when speaking of the best.

Still it has to mean something as consistency like that is not luck, in fact, it is closer to showing greatness than anything else.

To stay great means that you are great and despite the lack of discussion among the greatest he will join the best to play the game.

For his ability to constantly reach that benchmark he earns a spot among the best receivers to play where anyone who hits the 2,000-yard mark belongs.


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