Get ready to hear countless basketball analogies when watching rookie wide receiver Dillon Mitchell play for the Vikings.
Perhaps it's Minnesota's thirst for a legitimate third wide receiver to take pressure off of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, but whatever the reason may be, there is a ton of hype building around seventh-round draft pick Dillon Mitchell.
After setting the single-season receiving yards record this past season at the University of Oregon, Mitchell was taken by the Vikings in the final round of the draft. Now the stories about how talented he was in basketball are starting to make their way to the mainstream.
Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Mitchell was a four-star recruit in football and basketball, and one of his youth basketball coaches just so happened to be 1990s NBA star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, who was a silky smooth point guard playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal.
Hardaway was a guest on Twin Cities radio station Skor North (1500 ESPN) earlier this week, and he wasted no time generating hype about Mitchell, calling him a "steal" that will "prove a lot of people wrong."
“His talent is second to none, he has the ability to be a superstar in the NFL,” Hardaway said. "As he just continues to maintain his focus, the biggest thing is not getting sidetracked, not doing the things that young people really want to do. Stay away from all of those things, work his butt off, watch lots of film. It didn’t matter where he got drafted, he will have an opportunity to prove himself, for sure."
Mitchell, along with fellow seventh-round draft pick, Olabisi Johnson, both are on record saying they want to win the No. 3 receiver job, which hasn't been secured by Laquon Treadwell.
Before you ask: No, the Timberwolves didn't pass on Hardaway in the 1993 draft. The Warriors took Hardaway third overall. Minnesota had the fifth pick and took Isaiah Rider.
Hardaway is now the head men's basketball coach at the University of Memphis. Former Wolves player and head coach Sam Mitchell is Hardaway's associate coach, and ex-Wolves player Mike Miller is an assistant on the staff.