Denzel Mims a Dream Receiver Pick for Bears in Round 2
When the draft approaches players sometimes begin to drop in projections for no good reason.
Baylor receiver Denzel Mims for some reason isn't drawing the kind of buzz some other receivers have in the final 17 days leading up to the draft and it's a testimony to how strong this NFL draft is at wide receiver. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay ranks Mims the 10th best wide receiver, behind Jalen Reagor of TCU and Laviska Shenault JR. of Colorado.
Mims didn't break the first round in the Sports Illustrated mock draft by Connor Orr released on Tuesday, and has been ranked the 35th best prospect in the draft by SI.
The Bears have spoken to Mims and if he really does get into Round 2 there can be little doubt he'd be considered by them at No. 43 with their first pick.
Mims' skills are actually closer to an X receiver like Allen Robinson plays, except he's faster.
In an interview on the Matt Mosley Show on Philadelphia's KRZI, Mims pondered who the teams with the most interest have been.
"Hard to say," Mims said. "The Eagles, the Bills, the Bears, Colts, the Jets, Cowboys, Rams and the Titans.
"I've been getting a lot of calls lately. Now I'm just trying to see who's going to draft me, but I may get drafted by a team I never even talked to at all. I'm just trying to be patient and see where I end up at."
If anything should attract any team to Mims, it's his attitude and willingness to block when he's not involved in the receiving game.
"I had seen that it would separate my game from a lot of receivers in this league, and, so, I took pride in it," Mims said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "And I knew that if I were elite at that, then I'd be an elite receiver."
It's a case of helping someone else to help himself.
"Because I know if you dominate in the blocking game, it opens up the passing game," Mims said. "Because if I block my corner real hard and he gets tired of me blocking him, then it will open up the passing game for me."
This appreciation of the physical aspect of the game shows even in who Mims calls himself a fan of in the NFL. His favorite receiver is the Saints' Michael Thomas.
"He's physical. He makes a lot of great catches," Mims said. "He blocks as well, and that's the same as me."
Mims might be physical, but he's hardly a possession receiver.
Mims ran the sixth-fastest time at the combine, not just among receivers but for everyone. He turned in a 4.38.
Some scouts like the three-cone drill better than the 40 to judge true playing speed. Mims ran 6.66 seconds. That's the fastest time at the combine.
At 6-3, 207, and with a 38 1/2-inch vertical leap, Mims has the physical abilities to do anything a receiver would need to do. He almost was doing it at another position.
"It was, like, my freshman year, I didn't really get any playing time," Mims said. "I burnt my redshirt and I didn't really get any playing time. So, I wanted to try to make a move to go to corner because I thought I could play corner. And coach (Matt) Rhule saw me play receiver in spring ball a days. And he was like, 'No, you're going to stay at receiver.' It turned out good."
It's a decision the Bears and any number of other teams could benefit from after draft day.