Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds (90th)
Vertical: 38.5” (84th)
Broad: 131” (94th)
3-cone: 6.66 seconds (90th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.43 seconds (10th)
An all-state WR and state-champion sprinter in high school, Mims was tabbed a 3-star recruit by most scouting services. He chose to attend Baylor over offers from Texas Tech, Kansas State and a few others.
Mims barely hit the field as a true freshman but exploded the following fall. He led the Bears in all major receiving categories, accounting for 22.7% of the receptions, 31.5% of the yards and 34.8% of the TDs. Mims’ 17.8 yards per catch ranked 12th in the country among players with 40+ grabs. He was named second-team All-Big 12 and to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.
Mims’ numbers took a step back in 2018 as senior transfer Jalen Hurd emerged as Baylor’s top target. Hurd led the team with 69 catches and 946 yards, although Mims still ranked 1st with his 8 TDs.
Mims missed 1 game in 2018 with a hamstring injury. His market shares in the other 12: 20.2% of the receptions, 22.7% of the receiving yards and 38.1% of the receiving scores.
Hurd’s departure paved the way for Mims to set new career highs in catches and TDs this past year. Only 11 WRs in the country topped his 12 scores. Mims ranked 37th in receiving yards and 48th in catches. He was named first-team All-Big 12.
Mims gobbled up 23.8% of Baylor’s receptions, 28.6% of the receiving yards and 50% of the receiving scores as a senior. Those market shares rank 16th, 13th and 1st out of 23 of this year’s top WR prospects. Mims’ 2.36 yards per route run last year ranked 16th among those 23 wideouts.
Courtesy of @WhatsOnDraftNFL
Games watched - Oklahoma (2018), Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas
Mims is a tough matchup for DBs. He’s big, long and explosive.
At 6’3 with a 38.5-inch vertical and nice body control, Mims presents a massive target for his QB. He has long arms (93rd percentile among WRs) and the ability to extend and snatch the ball out of the air.
Mims is also effective on jump-ball and back-shoulder throws thanks to strong ball-tracking ability and body control.
Mims’ acceleration off the snap often puts defenders on their heels. And he has the speed to get deep.
Mims didn’t face a ton of press coverage but struggled when he did. He’s too often thrown off his route by physical defenders.
We didn’t see much route variation from Mims in Baylor’s offense. In fact, over 46% of his targets and nearly 45% of his yardage last year came on ‘go’ and ‘hitch’ routes, according to Pro Football Focus.
Mims isn’t as dangerous after the catch as you’d expect from a big, athletic dude. He averaged just 2.8 yards after the catch in 2019 — tied for 308th in the country.
Finally, his hands are inconsistent. Pro Football Focus charged Mims with 18 drops on 139 catchable targets (12.9%) over the past 2 seasons.
Mims has been 1 of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl and further boosted his draft stock with a huge performance at the Combine. The 6’3, 207-pounder registered marks in the 84th percentile or better in the 40-yard dash, vertical, broad jump and 3-cone. It earned him a SPARQ (athleticism) score in the 95th percentile among WRs.
You can see that combination of size and athleticism on tape. Mims won downfield and in contested situations at Baylor — and those skills should translate to the next level.
That gives him a lofty fantasy ceiling.
But the floor is low. Mims needs work on the finer points of his position, like beating press coverage and running the full route tree. More consistency with his hands would also help.
Then there’s the recent history of Baylor WRs. The last 4 to be selected in the first 3 rounds of the NFL Draft: Jalen Hurd, Corey Coleman, Terrance Williams and Kendall Wright. The jury is still out of Hurd; Williams and Wright flashed in spurts but combined for just 1 top-36 fantasy season; and Coleman was a total bust.
That’s not to say Mims is doomed to failure. But Baylor WRs don’t give us the warm-and-fuzzies like Alabama or Clemson WRs, for example. That adds to the volatility of Mims’ profile.
He looks like the kind of boom/bust prospect best reserved for the 2nd round of dynasty rookie drafts. We’ll see if his NFL Draft landing spot changes that.