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USF’s Mitch Wilcox: Lack of targets, production in 2019 was ‘frustrating at times’

The former USF tight end is in Indianapolis this week to try to improve his NFL draft stock.
Former USF tight end Mitch Wilcox speaks after the 2019 USF spring game. [ALLIE GOULDING | Tampa Bay Times]

Embarking on the most significant multi-day job interview of his life, former USF tight end Mitch Wilcox was at his diplomatic peak Tuesday morning.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Wilcox ― who holds every major Bulls receiving record for his position ― acknowledged to the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud that the minimal targets he got last fall (resulting in only 28 catches) didn’t help his draft status.

“I think a dip in production is never good for anyone, but I think I always tried to go in there and affect the game the best I could no matter what I was doing,” said Wilcox, USF’s all-time leader in receptions (100), receiving yards (1,326) and touchdown catches (11) by a tight end.

“Obviously (a 4-8 season) wasn’t the result that my team wanted and the organization wanted, but I took a lot from it as far as progression and development for me and my mental game. So there’s a lot of good takeaways I can still take from it.”

Related: Mitch Wilcox exudes grace, not a grudge, over final USF season

Wilcox (6-foot-3, 247 pounds) enters the combine with a 5.5 grade (which translates to final roster cut survivor or practice-squad player) according to NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein. His overview of Wilcox can be seen here.

He enjoyed his most productive season in 2018, when he set USF’s single-season mark for catches (43) and receiving yards (540) by a tight end.

“I’ll be quite honest, (the 2019 lack of production) was frustrating at times,” Wilcox said. “But ... that’s football. It happens. But I think in the long run, just kinda going through that adversity, it will make me a better player and definitely make me a better teammate in the long run."

Wilcox and the combine’s 19 other tight ends work out Thursday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. The combine is being broadcast on NFL Network.

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