Mims The Word:
The draft has finally finished and it was consumed by the masses like a swarm of locusts. Sports fans starved for any semblance of sport tuned in to virtually boo NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as he read the picks from his humble everyman basement.
With some wild picks flying off the board, one in particular has seemed to go unnoticed. With the 59th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, The New York Jets selected Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver, Baylor. Let's dive into Mims.
The former Baylor Bear's breakout age of 20 is a good starting point for the new number one wide receiver on the J-E-T-S, but let's focus on 2019. In 2019 Denzel had an absurd 50% of Baylor's receiving touchdowns (12) and 29% of the receiving yard market share (1020). Despite playing with 3 different quarterbacks last season Mims was continuously the first option, and he proved reliable, catching touchdowns from all 3 quarterbacks. Every player has pros and cons to their game, but I see more pros than cons. I want to address the perceived cons before navigating the many pros.
Inconsistent from year to year
Lacked focus, had trouble with drops
Baylor WRs play well in college, bust in NFL
Much like last time, I'll navigate the narratives to see if they're true. First up, his year to year inconsistencies. As a sophomore at Baylor, Mims exploded for 1087 yards and 8 TD's, but dipped as a junior with only 794 yards. Largely due to what was thought to be "concentration drops". With that said, he still matched his sophomore total of 8 trips to the paint. Solidifying himself as a true red zone threat. As a senior, Mims looked back to form, showing his ball tracking skill esoecially in his bounce back to over 1,000 yards and had his best year from a touchdown standpoint, hitting paydirt 12 times.
I want to focus on his junior year. In 2018 Mims was competing with a talented future NFL WR in Jalen Hurd. Mims' 8 touchdowns actually doubled Hurd's 4. Another thing to note, no Baylor wideout broke 1,000 yards receiving that year, and Mims' 794 yards were still second on the team, good for more than 20% of Baylor's receiving yards. It recently came out that Mims played his junior season with a broken hand. Only highlighting how impressive it was that he commanded volume and also produced.
The third point is a stigma that seems to follow most recent Baylor Wide Receivers. We had high hopes for Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams and most recently the aforementioned Jalen Hurd to name a few. While it's true that none of these Wideouts became what we had hoped for Fantasy (Josh Gordon, what could have been). Mims, in my opinion, is the best Wide Receiver of the previously mentioned bunch, and as we transition to the good you'll see why I think that way.
The pros to his game**
Knack for scoring
Aggressive at the catch point
Nasty run blocker
Wide catch radius
Alpha WR build
Let's dive into that first point quickly as I briefly touched on it in the negative portion. Since becoming an intricate part of the offense at Baylor, one thing was clear, Mims was the go-to guy in the red zone. He never had less than 8 scores in a season, leading his team in each of his 3 seasons. That is a trait I like to see in rookies coming out. Moving along to the second point, how prowess at the catch point. Mims is aggressive in high-pointing the ball, winning with his size and body control in contested situations. Add in his wide catch radius (point #4) and it's becomes clearer why the Jets wanted to pair him with Sam Darnold. Whomever is in the backfield next season, Le'Veon Bell or Lamical Perine, will appreciate the dog fight attitude that Mims can bring while blocking in the run game.
He's an aggressive player who makes the most of every opportunity. At the NFL combine, Mims slapped that event around like it owed him money, and trust me the combine paid up in full. Let's take a look at the tale of the tape.
Denzel Mims WR Baylor
6'3" 207 lbs
Arms: 33 ⅞
Hands: 9 ⅜
4.38 40 yard dash (96th percentile)
38.5" vertical (84th percentile)
6.66 three cone (90th percentile)
20 yard shuttle 4.43 (10th %)
16 bench press reps (T-12th wrs)
Mims absolutely crushed the 40 yard dash and the 3 cone and put forth very respectable vertical jump. That being said, the NFL graded Mims with a 6.33 (starter in the first 2 years), and that looks to be the immediate reaction, as Denzel lands in a spot starved for a WR1. Jamison Crowder works well underneath, catching everything thrown his way. Though generally his targets are no further than 3 yards from the line of scrimmage. Josh Doctson is in no way a threat, and I fully expect Mims to seize the opportunity.
Going forward, if you already had startups with rookies, or your rookie drafts have concluded and you grabbed Mims, congratulations on a great value. His Current ADP as WR41 in FFPC's Dynasty ADP is sure to see a steady climb. Mims was already sneaking into the back end of first rounds in rookie drafts, but now has firmly solidified a spot in the 1.08-1.12 range, and depending if we get OTA hype, could climb even further. I'm excited to see what Mims can do in the NFL and I'm happy to have him on my rosters.
- Jim Nastic