Keaton Mitchell, Ravens See More Explosive Days Ahead for Rookie

Mitchell Story
RB Keaton Mitchell

Keaton Mitchell's dad wasn't at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday. He was debating between the Thanksgiving and Christmas games, or maybe one of the next two games in Baltimore. 

What he missed was his son'scoming out party. 

Mitchell, the son of former Ravens Super Bowl-winning safety Anthony Mitchell, scored his first career touchdown as part of a 138-yard rushing day in the Ravens' 37-3 beatdown of the Seattle Seahawks. 

No worries though. 

"It's many more games like this to come, so it will be alright," Keaton said.

An undrafted rookie, just like his dad, Mitchell ripped off a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 60-yard run in the fourth quarter, showing the breakaway speed that made him a fan favorite in the preseason. 

Mitchell made the Ravens' initial 53-man roster but went to injured reserve with a shoulder injury. A hamstring injury further delayed his breakout. 

But with the Ravens holding a sizeable lead against the Seahawks, the Ravens let the rookie loose and he showed why he can be another dangerous weapon in Baltimore's offense over the second half of the season. 

Who needs another running back when you've got Mitchell? Head Coach John Harbaugh admitted that Mitchell wasn't a big part of the calculation when the Ravens didn't acquire a running back at the trade deadline, but "It turned out OK, right?" 

The Ravens did know Mitchell had this potential. The 5-foot-8, 191-pound rocket piled up 2,584 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons at East Carolina. It was obvious early in training camp that he had another gear, and Mitchell often made plays with the first-team offense. 

Mitchell said as soon as he saw an opening on his 40-yard touchdown run and knew he was taking it all the way, he started thinking about his touchdown celebration. He hit 20.99 mph on the run, the fastest speed of any Ravens ball carrier this season, per Next Gen Stats.

"We were actually talking about it right before he did break the touchdown; we were like, 'It's one person [who] keeps stopping him, and if that one person is not there, he's gone," linebacker Patrick Queen said. "Sure enough, [on] the next play, he outruns them all." 

Beyond the plays, the Ravens celebrated the player. It's a cool story. 

"I think everyone saw it from the very beginning," said offensive lineman Patrick Mekari, another undrafted free agent. "Just how he holds himself, how he runs. He's hungry. 

"Being an undrafted free agent too and seeing him do so well and seeing the fans be all about him, it's very cool, very well deserved."

Anthony Mitchell spent seven seasons in the NFL, including four in Baltimore (1999-2002). He was a rookie on the Ravens' Super Bowl-winning team and his claim to fame was returning a blocked field goal in the divisional playoff win in Tennessee 90 yards for a touchdown. 

Now his son is making big plays of his own in a Ravens uniform. It won't be long until Anthony sees some in-person. 

"He's been raised the right way. He's a football family-kid. He's a player's son and he has an amazing family," Harbaugh said. "He's humble. He works hard. He knows how hard it is. [He] doesn't take anything for granted, and he doesn't get too frustrated with the injuries and things like that. He just fights through it every single day, and then [to] see it pay off for him is great. 

"He knows the next challenge. Now, they know who he is, so it's going to be a new challenge next week. He's looking forward to that."

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