The 2020 NFL Draft has potential to be remembered as one of the richest wide receiver drafts in history. A record-setting 13 wideouts were selected during the first two rounds. That breaks the 2014 record when Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. led a group of 12 wide receivers off the board in the first two rounds. Baylor Bears speedy WR Denzel Mims helped set the new mark when the New York Jets selected him the No. 59 overall pick.
Meet The Newest Jet Weapon: Denzel Mims
Born and raised in the Lone Star State, Mims was a multi-sport athlete at Daingerfield High School in Texas. Mims earned an All-State honorable mention in football, he was a District MVP in basketball and won the Class 3A 200-meter state title in track during his time with the Tigers. He had offers from Arkansas State, Texas State and Texas Tech but committed to Baylor in 2016.
Following a quiet freshman year (4 catches for 24 yards) Mims hauled in 61 passes, for 1,087 yards and 8 touchdowns during his sophomore season with the Bears. Averaging 17.8 yards per catch, Mims earned 2017 Big 12 Second-Team All-Conference honors. Baylor went through a down season in 2018, but Mims had a decent campaign with 55 catches, 796 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Baylor stormed back in a big way, as the Bears went from 7-6 during the 2018 season to 11-2 and earned a berth in the 2020 Sugar Bowl. Mims set career highs with 66 catches and 12 touchdowns, while racking up 1,020 yards during his senior year. He then showed well during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine by posting the third-fastest wide receiver time with a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash.
How Does Mims Fit With The Jets?
Based on the Jets’ Twitter feed, it’s a happy day in New York as GM Joe Douglas traded down and still picked up a top wide receiver prospect. New York traded the No. 48 pick to Seattle and landed Mims at 59th overall in the second round. The Jets traded out of their original draft spot after prospects like Tee Higgins (Clemson), Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) and Laviska Shenault (Colorado) were selected in the top 10 on Night 2 of the draft.
After adding protection for QB Sam Darnold by selecting OT Mekhi Becton at No. 11 in the first round, the Jets picked Mims to replace WR Robby Anderson, who walked as a free agent. Anderson played all 16 games for the Jets last season and posted 52 receptions for 779 yards and 5 touchdowns. Knowing the WR draft pool was deep, the Jets were able to reject Anderson’s request for a new $15 million contract and he landed with the Carolina Panthers.
At the combine, Jets head coach Adam Gase talked about adding explosiveness to the offense. Mims does just that. He brings spread and a deep route tree, stepping in immediately to the Jets receiving corps as a starter.
How Does Mims Project in Fantasy Football?
A projected starter as a rookie, Mims joins Breshad Perriman on the perimeter and Jamison Crowder, who will play in the slot. Perriman signed as a free agent after catching 36 passes for 645 yards and 6 touchdowns with Tampa Bay last season. Mims and Perriman give the Jets a ton of field stretching speed that will help take pressure off Darnold. They should also help RB Le'Veon Bell get back on track. Crowder will have plenty of room to roam over the middle as well.
Mims’ fantasy value will partially hinge on whether Darnold gets more comfortable with him or Perriman first. Crowder will be the WR1 in the Jets offense, while Perriman and Mims should receive near equal targets. Teams will likely assign their top cornerback to Perriman, at least at the start of season, which will give Mims lighter coverage. The latest SI fantasy football Average Draft Position (ADP) has Mims at No. 45 on the receiver list and 122 overall on offense.
Bottom Line: Sam Darnold has made modest progress during his first two seasons and Mims should help make it three straight. He flies all over the field and is a physical receiver who often soared above defenders in college. Mims will also see early playing time due to the fact that he’s a willing participant as a blocker. He will be an early target in Dynasty League drafts and projects as a ninth-round pick in main event season-long contests that will begin soon.
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