Scouting 2020 NFL Draft wide receiver prospect Denzel Mims. Is he in the top tier of wide receivers?
The 2020 NFL Draft has a boatload of talented receivers, and one of those is Baylor’s Denzel Mims. Mims has had a very solid career with the Baylor Bears in four seasons. He put up 1,000 yards as a sophomore and after a down junior season, posted over 1,000 again as a senior.
Mims received an invite to the Senior Bowl and put together a good week of practice, then went out and dominated at the combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, jumping 10’11” in the broad, and posting a 6.66 three-cone time. Those numbers have vaulted him into first-round consideration. Let’s go back to the tape and check things out!
Name: Denzel Mims
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6’2 7/8″
Weight: 207 pounds
Wingspan: 78 1/2″
2019 Stats: 66 catches, 1,020 yards, 12 touchdowns
Games Watched: Stephen F. Austin (2019), Texas Tech (2019), Kansas State (2019), Texas (2019), Oklahoma (2019), Oklahoma (2019-CC), UTSA (2019)
Relative Athletic Score: 9.75
Let’s dive into the film and go trait-by-trait with Denzel Mims.
Route Running: His route tree isn’t fully developed, but Mims is so effective at where he wins. He can win on in-breaking routes, but they are a little rounded out at the top. He uses his hands to get through contact in order to create separation. Mims looks crisper on out-breaking routes.
He’s a very good vertical threat because of his ability to stack defenders on nine routes and because he has good instincts on back-shoulder throws and can snap off the occasional hitch route after selling deep. Mims is also effective at creating separation with double moves and has a really effective stutter-go. His ability to win downfield also stems from his play strength and hand-fighting to create extra space.
Release: Mims often uses an inside jab step to create some initial separation and to get into his steam. He sells well inside to gain outside leverage when he isn’t faced with press coverage. Mims has strong hands and a quick burst to get through press coverage when he’s faced with it. His release isn’t refined much past that, but it’s enough for him to make an immediate impact.
Hands: Easily one of Mims’ best traits. Mims catches the football almost exclusively away from his frame and tucks it away from defenders. He has a huge catch radius because of his wingspan and can handle throws way off the mark. Limited amount of drops on tape. Mims will become reliable to some team right away because of great hands.
Ball Skills: Mims has a great ability to high point the football which comes from great athleticism and catch radius. He possesses great sideline awareness and body control near the sideline and in the end zone. Mims has no problem going over the middle and making tough catches through contact. The trust will be there over the middle and in contested spots.
YAC/RAC Ability: He has more quickness/agility after the catch than I initially expected. Mims often makes the first defender miss with great quickness and instincts after he tucks the ball away. He has long strides and gets up to speed in space, which can leave defenders behind. His physical nature also shows up after the catch where he can break tackles.
Speed: Running a 4.38 at the combine should show plenty about his speed. His long speed is very good where he uses his long strides, but short-area burst is a little limited. It takes a bit for Mims to get up to speed.
Blocking: Mims is a fantastic blocker with great strength. He engages defenders well with a good base and strong hands and keeps defenders engaged for a prolonged time frame.
Versatility: He doesn’t have a lot of production from the slot, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t play there. However, his best fit (with his size/speed combo) is as an ‘X’ receiver.
Play Strength: His strength is obvious, and it shows up in every facet of his game, from route running to blocking and after the catch.
Film Grade: 8.05/10 (Second Round Grade)
Mims rightfully got a lot of chatter after his combine performance. His excellent hands, combined with his ball skills, make him a great target for teams on day two of the 2020 NFL Draft. He will be used as an “X”, or boundary, receiver who will work vertically. His traits project well to most NFL offenses, and he will be in play for teams like Baltimore and Green Bay near the end of the first round, along with the Giants, Colts, and Jaguars in round two.