Entering the draft, many did not have the Denver Broncos trading up for a receiver, but that is exactly what they did. They traded up from their 68th overall selection in the third round to the 63rd overall selection in the second round to draft Oklahoma speedster wide receiver, Marvin Mims Jr.
Denver Broncos select Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims Jr. with 63rd pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft https://t.co/u4KFeZWBvr— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) April 29, 2023
Mims is a 5’11’, 183 pounds receiver who is considered one of the better deep threats in this entire class. Now, he is joining the Denver Broncos offense and will hopefully be catching deep bombs from quarterback Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future.
Mims Jr. played a total of three seasons for Oklahoma and is coming off a breakout year for the Sooners. During his three-year career, he totaled 123 receptions for 2,398 yards and 20 touchdowns. This past year. he totaled 54 receptions for 1,083 yards and 6 touchdowns. He averaged 20.1 yards per reception this past season and averaged an impressive 19.5 yards per reception during his career at Oklahoma.
He is a talented receiver but why did the Broncos draft him despite them being fairly deep at that position already? The answer is fairly simple, they needed speed and a deep threat desperately and they got that in Marvin Mims Jr.
At the conclusion of the third round, head coach Sean Payton and GM George Paton met with the media and were asked about Marvin Mims Jr. Payton told reporters that they had a clear vision of what they were looking for in a receiver. They were looking for return skills, character, and intelligence, and brings that element of speed to their team and Mims Jr. checks all those boxes.
Sean Payton on the vision for Marvin Mims and the receiver they are looking for:— Romi Bean (@Romi_Bean) April 29, 2023
"We had a clear vision for the receiver… he’s got return skills, character makeup, he’s smart.. he brings an element of speed."
Payton raved about Mims Jr’s. return skills and told reporters that there were only two “elite punt returners” in the draft and that Mims Jr. was one of them. So, we will likely see Mims Jr. being a factor in the return game this upcoming season. While at Oklahoma, he returned 33 career punts for 391 yards, so he has plenty of experience in the return game.
The addition of Mims Jr. puts two Broncos receivers squarely on the roster bubble. Those two receivers are the currently injured K.J. Hamler and receiver/returner, Montrell Washington. Hamler was supposed to be the Broncos' deep threat, but injuries have really derailed his career. He is currently rehabbing a torn pectoral muscle and will miss all of the offseason program and potentially all of training camp. Now, with Mims Jr. essentially replacing his role, Hamler’s tenure with the team may be coming to an end.
As for Montrell Washington, he was just drafted last year in the fifth round to be the Broncos' return specialist. Since then, the Broncos have made changes at head coach and special teams coach and now traded up into the second round to draft a receiver with “elite punt return skills”. Teams will not keep two return specialists, so he might be on the outside looking in heading into the summer and training camp.
At the end of the day, the Broncos hopefully got themselves a good one and someone who can contribute during his rookie season as a returner and as an occasional deep threat for the Broncos' offense. What is most exciting is having an offensive mind like Sean Payton scheming a player with the speed and big play ability like Mims Jr. open. I know quarterback Russell Wilson is coming off a poor season, but we saw flashes of the old Russ in the final two games and he was throwing bombs during those final two games. I think and hope we see more of that this upcoming season between him and Mims Jr.