Former Falcons tight end Jim Mitchell died on Saturday from an apparent heart attack. Mitchell turned 60 on Friday. The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reports that a friend found him unconscious on the front steps of his house on Saturday morning, he died later that day at Bedford County Medical Center.
Mitchell played 11 seasons with the Falcons between 1969 and 1979. He finished his career with 305 receptions for 4358 yards (14.3 avg) and 28 touchdowns. Those marks rank him first among tight ends on the Falcons all-time receiving lists, while fourth overall in receptions and yards. He was originally a fourth round pick out of Prairie View A&M in 1969 by the Falcons. He earned Pro Bowl bids in 1969 as a rookie and also in 1972.
Following his professional football career, he coached at Morehouse and Morris Brown Colleges. He then returned to his native Shelbyville, TN to volunteer as an assistant coach at Central High and Liberty School and organized local football camps. Mitchell suffered from diabetes-related health problems in recent years.