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Denzel Mims Should Produce Right Away (2020 NFL Draft)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 30, 2020

Denzel Mims may not be a No. 1 receiver right away, but he should produce immediately

Denzel Mims, Baylor

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 207 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds
Vertical Jump: 38.5 inches
Broad Jump: 131.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.66 seconds

There may not have been a wide receiver who improved his stock at the NFL Combine more than Mims, as he proved to be among the top athletes in the country. He ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, hit 38.5 inches on the vertical, 131 inches on the broad jump, and an incredible 6.66 second 3-Cone drill. If you didn’t know who Mims was before the Combine, you certainly knew afterwards. Does his tape match what he displayed at the Combine?

Mims played all four years at Baylor, though his freshman season was abbreviated. Over the final three seasons, he tallied at least 55 receptions and eight touchdowns each year, while tallying over 1,000 yards in two of them. He was the model of consistency over his senior season, racking up at least 53 yards in 11-of-13 games, including at least five receptions in 10 of them.

Here’s my detailed scouting report on Denzel Mims (ratings out of five stars):

Size/Versatility

Has a frame big enough to absorb hits, but he doesn’t look clunky at all. He’s also strong enough to fight off press coverage. While at Baylor, he was primarily on the perimeter, though I don’t think he’s someone who needs to be limited to that role, as his skillset should be utilized all over the field. While blocking really doesn’t matter all that much to wide receivers, Mims gives it his all when it comes to this area of the game. Watched him lead a few blocks that led to big gains, which coaches will love.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Route Running/Ability to Separate

He’s got real suddenness off the line of scrimmage, will allow him to beat press coverage relatively easy. I’d like to see him sell his routes a bit more at the stem, as his start/stop ability should allow for more separation. He’s more of a vertical separator right now who’s good at using his body to his advantage. You have to wonder if he’ll develop the sharper cuts that’ll allow him to consistently get separation, but overall, he’s average in this area.

RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2

Speed

While watching Mims on film, I saw a receiver who had rock-solid burst out of the hole, though I didn’t think his long speed was great. After seeing his 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, it quieted some of those long speed concerns. Still, the area of his game that I love is his burst in and out of his breaks. He has short area quickness that’ll allow him to win in man coverage.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hands

There are some focus drops out of him, but there are also some plays that have you sit up in your chair, as he’ll high-point a ball and snag it out of the air like a top-tier receiver would. It’s a mixed bag when it comes to his hands, though you’ll take that when he makes some of the catches he does. In the end, I don’t think any team would have concerns about getting the ball to him, particularly in tight situations, as most of his drops come when he’s thinking too far ahead.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Ball-Tracking/Awareness

He’s smooth when it comes to tracking the ball. His quarterback play wasn’t great, but when you watch him pace his route perfectly to let the ball float over his shoulder, you know he’s a natural. This is also on full display when he adjusts to a poorly thrown ball on the sidelines, as he’ll wait to flip his hands/hips until the ball is right on him, which doesn’t allow for a cornerback to break it up.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

After the Catch

He’s not someone who’ll create many yards after the catch. His speed/burst is well above average for someone his size, though not for an average defensive back (they’re smaller), so they can keep up with him in that aspect. If he were to add bulk to break more tackles, he’d sacrifice one of his better qualities. He’s not going to simply fall to the ground when he sees a defender, but this isn’t a highlight of his game.

RATING: ⭐⭐

Projected Draft Spot

He’s someone who will start out his career as a solid No. 2 and complimentary option who could be a true No. 1 wide receiver if he continues to develop. That should land him on an NFL team by the end of the second-round, though his Combine performance may have moved him to the back end of the first-round. The Packers, Bears, Jets, and Eagles are all teams that should show interest. Truth be told, there aren’t many teams who couldn’t use a player like Mims.

NFL Comparison

He reminds me of Michael Gallup. I loved Gallup while at Colorado, as I felt like there was so much untapped potential with him, even if he wasn’t ready to be a true No. 1 entering the league. Both receivers have plenty of length and solid play-speed for someone their size. While Gallup was a better route-runner than Mims coming into the league, Mims offers more athleticism and top-end speed. Ideally, Mims lands with a receiver that can help him improve the little things in his routes so that he can become a 100-plus target receiver sooner rather than later.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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