It’s widely anticipated that the New York Giants will be changing offensive schemes in 2020. They will likely be switching from the variations of the West Coast Offense they have run since 2014 to a vertical, Air Coryell based scheme under Jason Garrett. And while a more aggressive approach to offense will be refreshing, it requires a different type of receiver. Vertical offenses demand bigger, more athletic outside receivers to stretch the field and force defenders out of the tackle box. Receivers with those athletic traits generally aren’t easy to come by, and generally demand some kind of investment, either cap dollars or early draft picks.
If we assume the Giants aren’t drafting a true “X” receiver in the first round, we should then look at their options for the second day of the draft. Baylor’s Denzel Mims offers an intriguing blend of length, speed, and ball skills to fill the Giants’ hole at wide receiver.
Prospect: Denzel Mims (WR, Baylor)
Games Watched: vs. Kansas State (2019), vs. Texas Tech (2019), vs. Oklahoma (2019), vs. Texas (2019)
Red Flags: None
Games Played: 40
Yards (YPC): 2,925 (15.7 yards per catch)
Games Played: 13
Yards (YPC): 1,020 (15.5 yards per catch)
Best: Size, athleticism, competitive toughness
Worst: Route running, consistency
Projection: A starting “X” receiver in a vertical offense.
Baylor receiver Denzel Mims has a very good blend of height, weight, and speed for a wide receiver at the NFL level. He is exclusively a wide receiver in Baylor’s offense and shows promise in both vertical concepts and run-after-catch situations. Mims has the foundation for a good release off the line of scrimmage, wasting little motion getting into his route and flashing good hands to clear DBs in man coverage. Mims is able to use his speed to pressure cornerbacks into abandoning their backpedal early, giving him an advantage on come-back or curl routes, or the ability to get behind a defense and stretch the field. Mims shows an impressive catch radius when he extends to pluck the ball out of the air. He is consistently able to leap, extend, and high-point the football, as well as place his body between defenders and the ball. Mims flashes very strong hands, able to latch on and secure the ball through difficult catches, contact with defenders, and while going to the ground.
Mims’ play strength and athleticism offer some upside as a runner with the ball in his hands. He flashes good vision and toughness when dealing with contact or tackle attempts.
Mims is a willing and dedicated blocker for his teammates. He was consistently used as a perimeter blocker in Baylor’s run game and showed great competitive toughness in sustaining his blocks through the whistle.
Mims will need some development as a route runner as Baylor did not ask him to run a complicated or varied route tree. He will also need to show improvement in sinking his hips and making sharp breaks instead of rounding his routes. Mims can also be inconsistent in catching the football. At times he will take unecessary hops so he can let the ball into his chest plate and body-catch it instead of attacking the ball in the air. He can also suffer from concentration drops when looking to turn upfield before securing the catch.
Overall Grade: 6.4 - Possesses the traits to become a starter early in his career and should be an instant contributor on any team that drafts him. A second-day value. [Grading Scale]
Denzel Mims projects as a starting X receiver at the NFL level and would be best in a vertical offense. There are few receivers with Mims’ catch radius and raw speed, making him a threat at every level and an asset for an offense that wants to push the ball down the field.
He will benefit from a coaching at the NFL level to polish and hone his craft as a receiver. He flashes impressive ability to track, adjust, and catch the ball, at times showing impressive field awareness and body control to contort and make sure he comes down inbounds. But he can also shows inconsistencies which should be ironed out of his game. Mims has a slight tendency to let his concentration wander and can suffer concentration drops, as well as a tendency to hop and body-catch the ball. He will also need to become more consistent in his route running, as his tendency to round off breaks will make it easier for NFL caliber defensive backs to stay with him throughout his route.
Mims is a good and experienced blocker on the perimeter and isn’t afraid of catching the ball over the middle. As with his receiving, Mims could stand to be more consistent in his blocking technique, but he is consistent in his effort and will to block through the whistle, which is a great foundation.