After a big game on Sunday that earned Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell his first NFL touchdown, he received more good news a few days later. On Wednesday, Mitchell was voted the NFL’s FedEx Ground Player for his Week 9 performance against the Seattle Seahawks.
Initially he wasn’t aware that the honor was bestowed upon him, so his first reaction was to ask “did I win?” When he found out he did indeed win, he humbly said “hopefully there’s many more to come.”
Mitchell’s story is a bit more special because the 5’8” running back was a 2023 undrafted rookie out of East Carolina University. However, with his father being former Ravens defensive back Anthony Mitchell, who was also an undrafted rookie, Keaton understands the benefits of hard work and determination when the odds are stacked against you.
“My dad was undrafted. He came here [to Baltimore]. He told me everything I needed to know,” Mitchell shared after the Seattle game. “He said just stay humble, keep doing what you do, keep thanking God, and your time will come. And today, it came, so I’ll just keep going.”
“He’s a humble guy, which we appreciate. He works really hard,” Coach Harbaugh said postgame. “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.”
His teammates share the same sentiment based on their reaction to Mitchell’s first touchdown. Almost the entire team ran down the sideline to hype him up. It was a great sight to see.
“It was a blessing,” Mitchell said about the moment. “The guys keep my head up every day. They believe in me, and it’s just like a family in that locker room, so I just appreciate everybody in there for believing in me, trusting me and just being proud of the game I had.”
Another Raven who had a big game was Odell Beckham Jr. who scored his first touchdown of the season on his birthday. Beckham made sure he picked up Mitchell’s touchdown ball so he could keep it for memories sake.
“I saw him dancing and everything, and I wanted to watch the dance, but I was like, that’s a special ball,” Beckham said. “You have to make sure you have it. He ended up seeing it, but I just wanted to make sure he had that. It was a special moment for him.”
Now there is a new challenge ahead for Mitchell and Coach Harbaugh described it perfectly: “Now they know who he is, so it’s going to be a new challenge next week.”