Baylor receiver Denzel Mims was considered a first-round talent by many scouts entering the 2020 NFL Draft, but the New York Jets stole him midway through the second round. Here are Mims’ odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Jets’ over/under win total.
The Jets pounced on Mims with the No. 59 overall pick in April’s draft. David’s father played college football at Baylor as well and also spent two years with the Falcons before being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 expansion draft.
Mims didn’t do much as a freshman at Baylor in 2016, playing in 11 games and catching four balls for 24 yards. However, his talent started to show as a sophomore when Mims was second-team All-Big 12. Mims had 61 catches for 1,087 yards and eight TDs on the season. He was one of 15 Power 5 receivers with over 1,000 yards.
Mims ranked 13th in FBS and third in Big 12 in receiving yards, 14th and third in receiving yards per game (90.6), 32nd and ninth in yards per catch (17.82) and 34th and sixth in receiving TDs. He was seventh in the FBS in catches of 70 or more yards (2), 11th in 10 or more (42), 12th in 20 or more (18) and 40 or more (7), 17th in 60 or more (2), 20th in 30 or more (9) and 23rd in 50 or more (3). His yardage was also eighth all-time at Baylor.
In 2018, Mims regressed a bit as he had 794 yards receiving on 55 receptions for a team-leading 8 touchdowns. Still solid numbers.
Last year, Mims had 66 catches for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns despite playing through a broken hand for a spell. The TDs tied him for fifth most in BU single-season history and his receptions were tied for 10th on the single-season BU list. Mims finished his BU career sixth in career receiving yards with 2,925 and fifth with 186 career receptions. His 28 receiving TDs are third.
He is only the third Bear in program history with multiple 1,000+ yards receiving seasons (2017, 2019) and was the player in FBS to score at least eight TDs in each of the last three seasons.
Mims’ production at Baylor turned heads, but it was his comfortability with a full route tree at Senior Bowl practices and mega-fast 40 (4.38), position-best three-cone (6.66 seconds), and sky-high vertical (38.5 inches) at the NFL Combine that launched him up draft boards.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Mims’ combination of speed, strength, and agility shown at the combine is eerily similar to one of the NFL’s best receivers, Atlanta’s Julio Jones. Jones at the time of his combine came in at 6’3”, 220 lbs, 4.39 40, 38.5 vertical and 6.66 three-cone.
Separation ability and drops (20 the past three seasons) are the primary concern areas for Mims. Jamison Crowder is locked in as the Jets’ slot receiver, but the team’s perimeter situation is wide-open, with Mims’ only legitimate competition newcomer Breshad Perriman. Last year, the Jets ranked 21st in passing plays (573) and ranked worst in the league in Adjusted Passing Net Expected Points per Pass (minus 0.07).
Mims has claimed that blocking is the strongest part of his game, selflessly acknowledging that his willingness to do so opens up the playbook for himself and those around him.
“I am a guy that really loves to block and I take pride in that. You got to block for your running backs and your quarterback because if I want the ball and I want them to be able to trust me, I feel like I need to think the game when it comes to blocking first. Then, I will be able to catch the balls,” he said.
Now Mims has a chance to hone in his skills under the tutelage of Hines Ward, who will enter his second season as a Jets offensive assistant. Ward was a Hall of Fame-caliber receiver with the Steelers and one of the best blocking wideouts ever.