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.”
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.