Draft Diary: Mitchell's dream realized

Carlton Mitchell works out at minicamp for the Cleveland Browns. (AP photo / Amy Sancetta)

Carlton Mitchell watched as 19 wide receivers were selected before him in last weekend's NFL draft.

At his mom's house in Tampa, Mitchell kept rotating between different locations, trying to be patient and remind himself that finding a team that was the right fit was more important than where he was selected.

An hour in front of the TV. A half-hour in his room, trying to take a nap. A few minutes on the balcony.

"Watching that clock come down and players getting picked, it does something to your mind," he said.

And then the call came around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, during the sixth round.

"I was sitting on the couch, thinking that the first team that calls me is going to be making the best decision of their life," Mitchell said. "I was kind of mad at other teams for passing me up and just wanted to use that as motivation. As soon as that thought went through my head, Cleveland called."

As Mitchell answered, friends and relatives let loose. After watching the draft for more than 10 hours, their time had come.

"My mom was very excited. She was screaming," Mitchell said with a laugh. "I don’t know who she started calling. She started calling somebody. It was a very exciting moment."

With the Browns, Mitchell gets a shot to have an immediate impact for a team with a giant need at wide receiver. Cleveland's leading wideout last year was rookie Mohammed Massaquoi, who had 34 catches for 624 yards and three touchdowns. The second-leading wide receiver was Chansi Stuckey, who had just 19 catches for 198 yards.

Mitchell said he isn't too familiar with Ohio, but in the age of social networking, it didn't take long for the fans to introduce themselves to him. During the draft process, he always joked with his agent and friends about starting a Twitter account once he got selected. It didn't take long for members of the Dawg Pound to start following and welcome him to Cleveland.

"The fans have already been amazing," he said. "They welcomed me with open arms. As soon as I set up my Twitter account, a whole bunch of Cleveland people started congratulating me and showing me support."

Minicamp is already under way, and so begins the next chapter in Mitchell's career. From Florida to Ohio. The Big East to the AFC North. The South Florida Bulls to the Cleveland Browns.

"This is a very exciting time," he said. "All I wanted was an opportunity, and now I'm ready to take it and run with it. My dream's coming true."

Click here for our previous Draft Diary entries with Carlton Mitchell.

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