The Broncos need a receiver. We know it, they know it, and Elway has made sure the whole league is aware that he plans to address the group this spring. Fortunately, this upcoming Draft class looks historically loaded at the position. Everyone knows the big names at the top, but look beyond the Ruggs, Jeudy’s, and Lamb’s, and you may just find the best of the bunch.
Denzel Mims finished his collegiate career with 186 receptions for 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns. At the time he left Baylor, he was considered a Day 3 prospect by many in the draft community. There were concerns about his route running and ability to release against physical defenders, but optimism that he could develop into a starting Z-receiver in time.
In the months since Mims went to the Senior Bowl and threw his doubters on their heads. He dominated the competition by showing off the kind of route running savvy that left some in attendance drooling. He followed it up by blowing up the NFL Combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, jumping out of the building, and running a devilish 6.66 3-Cone at 6’3” and 206 lbs.
All but the most ardent doubters believe Mims will now go within the top 50 picks of the NFL Draft.
- Very good athletic ability. Former track background shows up in his game.
- Good competitive toughness, shows up in big moments such as overtime victory over TCU.
- Solid play strength,
- Solid release,
- Solid separation quickness, if route running continues to improve there’s potential to become very good in this area.
- Good hands, he shows very good ball tracking and the ability to make contested catches or high point the ball with bodies around him. Would earn higher marks in this area if not for drops, may always have some concentration misses on his tape.
- Very good body control, second only to CeeDee Lamb in this class.
- Good after the catch, he has the lateral mobility and strength to dodge defenders or break through tackle attempts by defensive backs.
What I’ve heard/read:
You can’t teach Mims’ raw explosiveness and body control, but he’s got little polish at the position outside of that. Those are very good starting points at the receiver position and give him a lot to work with in the NFL.
Mims is a long-striding outside target with excellent height, weight and speed and an insane catch-radius. He’s a touchdown threat anytime he’s near the red zone, with the focus and body control to finesse and finish catches above the rim. He struggles to release and separate from physical press corners, and he doesn’t consistently compete and outwork opponents for positioning on contested catches. If the route work and intensity catch up with his natural athletic ability, he could become a dangerous “Z” receiver in a vertical offense, but the floor might be lower than some teams are comfortable with.
Denzel Mims projects as an X-receiver at the NFL level. With his notable catch radius, physical play and high end body control, Mims projects as a potential starter at the pro level. He brings developing routes and effective play side blocking to the field — which will help him find reps early on in his pro career as he looks to add further refinement to his game. Mims enjoyed a career season in 2019 and appears to have the arrow facing up as he transitions into the pro game.
If I ran the personnel side of an NFL organization, Denzel Mims has several qualities I covet from a wide receiver. Whether it’s taking or dishing out physical play, he’s comfortable with it.
He has a refined sense of how to move economically in tight spaces and applies it well at the line of scrimmage, at the breakpoint of his routes, and after the catch. Mims is consistent with his craft. When he attacks the football, rarely will you see his hands not framed in a tight and technically-sound position. His breaks are crisp, tight, and flat and his releases account for the actions of his opponent.
Why he fits
John Elway has made it clear he desires speed to compliment Courtland Sutton in the passing game. Ideally, they want a player who can upgrade the Z-receiver spot. With the change to Pat Shurmur means there will be more asked from receivers to create separation on their own and to make catches in tight quarters. Mims plays the game above the rim while offering the potential growth and athletic profile to develop into a top tier deep threat.
My WR4 in this loaded class and a player I have a first round grade on after accounting for scheme fit, upside, and risk, Mims would be a great addition to the Broncos’ receiving corps.
Would you like to see the Broncos draft Denzel Mims?
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