By Adam Aniba
Washington's receiving core features elite pass catcher Terry McLaurin, gadget receiver Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson, who's always a threat to score when he gets his hands on the ball. After the trio, depth becomes murky.
Veteran outside receiver Cam Sims wasn't re-signed, Dax Milne has been underwhelming as a returner and third year WR Dyami Brown only has 17 receptions for 308 yards and 2 TDs.
Although Brown will likely get the '23 season to rekindle chemistry with his former college QB Sam Howell, Washington lilley keep 5-6 receivers, opening the door for undrafted Penn State rookie free agent WR Mitchell Tinsley.
6'0" 199 lbs | WR | PSU
Undrafted FA WSH
Career WKU (26 Games)- 130 rec for 1,779 yds 18 TDs (13.7 per rec)
'22 Stats PSU (13 Games)- 51 rec for 577 yds 5 TDs (11.3 per rec)
Tinsley grew up in Lee's Summit, MO and lined up at receiver for Lee's Summit HS, in addition he lettered in basketball and track & field. The receiver only played one season though, registering 19 receptions for 350 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The Lee's Summit pass catcher received no scholarship offers and walked on to the Hutchinson Community College football team for the '18 season.
Over two seasons, Tinsley registered 57 receptions for 656 yards and 4 touchdowns. He helped HCC to a 19-5 overall record in two seasons and was rated as a 3-star JUCO prospect.
Tinsley gained the attention Western Kentucky University for the 2020 season and was offered a spot on their team. In his first season he had 43 receptions for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns in 9 starts.
In 2021 the Hilltoppers receivers started all 14 games for WKU and thrived in their Air Raid passing scheme, registering 87 receptions for 1,402 yards and 14 TDs.
He averaged 16.1 yards per reception and 100.1 yards receiving per game. His receiving total ranked 2nd in Conference USA (8th nationally). Tinsley was selected to the 2nd-Team All-Conference USA for is efforts.
Last season the Nittany Lions receiver appeared in 13 games (10 starts) and registered 51 receptions for 577 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tinsley finished his career with at least one reception in 39-strait games.
Prior to the season, he was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, selected to the Preseason All-America 2nd Team and named to the Preseason All-Big Ten 2nd team.
Although Tinsley was unable to replicate his '21 production while at WKU, he displayed the ability to beat zone coverage and gain yards after the catch.
Threat after the catch with the ability to effectively navigate through traffic
Effective hands catcher with the ability to extend for the reception in traffic and 32" arms provide catch radius
Although doesn't boast top end speed, was rarely caught from behind in the open field
A willing blocker that won't shy away from contact
Thrived in jump ball 50/50 situations and displayed decent functional strength when fighting for the ball
Lack of top end speed (4.6 sec forty time)
Struggles with his release and ability to create separation
Tends to round off routes and needs to stick his foot in the ground with more suddenness
Had lapses in concentration which led to occasional drops, particularly when facing press-man coverage
Overall athleticism is only marginal
Although Tinsley had a down year in '22, compared to his 1400+ receiving year with Western Kentucky in '21, he flashes the ability to be a solid receiver on the next level.
Tinsley offers upside as a possession receiver, but also is an effective red zone threat, that can line up on the outside or the slot.
The Lee's Summit HS receiver is a true success story that only played 1 year of high school football. He walked onto the Hutchinson Community College football team, recorded over 1,400 receiving yards for WKU in a season and finished his collegiate career starting for Penn State.
Tinsley will battle Brown and others during training camp, but will need to produce some highlight reel receptions to earn a roster spot.
Ultimately, Tinsley's lack of a special teams background as a returner will hurt his ability to be one of the last receivers to make the final 53-man roster. The practice squad is the likely first stop for the Nittany Lions receiver, but making the final roster isn't out of the question.
*Games Watched- 9/1/22 vs Purdue, 9/24 vs C.Mich, 10/22 vs Minnesota, 11/5 vs Indiana, 11/19 vs Rutgers & 1/2 vs Utah