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15. Bobby Mitchell

The Washington Redskins owner, George Preston Marshall, did not want to integrate his team, but the team was forced to do so by the National Football League.  In 1961, under pressure from the NFL and the Federal Government, Marshall drafted Ernie Davis, the first ever African American Heisman winner.

 

Fearful of what he might have had to pay Davis, Marshall traded him to Cleveland for Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Jackson, who would become the first two black players on the Redskins.  Mitchell had been playing at Halfback for the Browns, was moved to Flanker, and he would lead the NFL in Receiving Yards in his first two seasons in Washington, with his third year seeing him top the leaderboard in Receiving Touchdowns.  Named a First Team All-Pro in 1962, Mitchell was also a Pro Bowler in 1962, 1963, and 1964. 

Mitchell had three more good years but declined in 1968 and retired shortly after.  With the Redskins, he would have 6,930 Yards From Scrimmage with 51 TDs.  

After his playing career ended, Mitchell became an executive with Washington for decades to come and was at one time the team’s Assistant General Manager.  Mitchell would enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Flanker
  • Acquired: Traded from the Cleveland Browns with Leroy Jackson for Ernie Davis before the 1962 Season.
  • Departed: Retired after the 1968 Season.
  • Games Played: 98
  • Notable Statistics:

    85 Games Started
    393 Receptions
    6,492 Receiving Yards
    49 Receiving Touchdowns
    90 Rushing Attempts
    438 Rushing Yards
    2 Rushing Touchdowns
    15 Punt Returns
    92 Punt Return Yards
    40 Kick Returns
    1,140 Kick Return Yards
    2 Kick Return Touchdowns
    2 Pass Completions
    2 Pass Attempts
    38 Passing Yards
    73 Approximate Value

  • Played For: Washington Redskins
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    First Team All-Pro (1962)
    Second Team All-Pro (1964)
    Pro Bowl (1962, 1963 & 1964)
    Most Receptions (1962)
    Most Receiving Yards (1962 & 1963)
    Most Receiving Touchdowns (1964)
    Most Receiving Yards per Game (1962 & 1963)

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