Should the Eagles consider taking Denzel Mims with the 21st overall pick?


Arguably no wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft class has seen their stock rise more than Baylor’s Denzel Mims.

Since performing in the 2020 Senior Bowl, Mims impressed NFL teams by showing his natural ability to be a real weapon for an offense while running a full route tree, and regularly creating separation with the cornerbacks, the receiver faced.

According to Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports, Mims draft projection was around a day three pick before the Senior Bowl. 

“Mims also seems to get into his breaks nicely, and he had DBs grabbing at his jersey most of the practice,” Edholm wrote. “If he keeps this up through Saturday’s game, then Mims will go into the NFL combine with a lot of momentum. Most scout grades I’ve heard have been in the fourth-round range, but it wouldn’t stun me if he rises above that.”

Mims only caught one pass for 13 yards in the game, but still found his name as the talk of the town throughout the entire Senior Bowl week. Again, what impressed NFL teams the most was Mims’ ability to shake off defensive backs and make impressive catches.

Once the 2020 NFL combine rolled around, Mims carried all the confidence in the world into the event and was reportedly able to cement himself as a first-round prospect.

The soon-to-be-former Baylor star ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and a 6.66 three-cone drill, putting his explosiveness on full display. Mims proved with his size (6’3, 207 lbs.) and speed that he’s deserving of hearing his name called during the first day of the 2020 NFL Draft.

After enjoying a stellar collegiate career with 186 catches for 2,925 yards, averaging 15.7 yards per catch, and 28 touchdowns, Mims is ready to prove he has what it takes to replicate that success at the next level.

The media buzz has also picked up on Mims’ game more so now than ever. Numerous outlets are already considering him a lock for the first round.

Mims fits what the Eagles direly need in a wide receiver in numerous ways. 

Catch Radius

Mims possesses an incredible knack for extending his body and pivoting from his routes to make tough catches, so much, so the receiver looks almost acrobatic.

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Carson Wentz, on occasion, tends to throw high to his pass-catchers; however, Mims can give Philadelphia’s quarterback a reliable target to bail him out of those errant passes. 

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Creating separation

As mentioned earlier in the article, Mims put on a show at the Senior Bowl, routinely creating separation. That same release off the line of scrimmage explosiveness, thanks in large part to his track background, does show up on the talented receiver’s film also.

The biggest knock on Philadelphia’s wide receivers was their ability to create separation from defensive backs consistently. Mims’ provided Baylor with that ability while showing he can do so against the nation’s top Seniors in Mobile.

It’s also fair to argue Mims’ combine performance showcased the in’s and out’s of the receiver’s natural speed ability and giving an understanding of how he’s able to run past coverages.

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Mims’ size is a huge positive for the Eagles as they’re in search of a long-term No. 1 wide receiver to give Wentz. 

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The fade passes are arguably the best throws Wentz can make, especially in the red zone, and Mims has the athleticism and frame to cash in on those opportunities in Philadelphia.

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With Alshon Jeffery looking to be on the outs with the Eagles, Mims could replace his size in the offense while bringing a completely different dynamic to the group and may find himself in a position to seize the team’s top receiver spot.

Like every NFL prospect, there are cons to Mims’ game that need seasoning at the next level.

Concentration drops

Philadelphia fans are accustomed to drops from wide receivers, so hearing Mims’ weakness is dropping passes may worry a few. Still, this flaw is a correctable issue for the receiver that’s developing.

Mims’ hands are very trustworthy, but there are times the receiver is prone to dropped passes, especially when it comes to reaching full extension — in other words — when Mims gets lazy.

Mims still has the opportunity to flourish regardless of the concentration drops knock. Still, it will be an issue to work on for Philadelphia’s newly appointed wide receiver coach Aaron Moorehead, and ultimately improve Mims’ overall game.

Route running

Mims’ route tree doesn’t appear to be as bleak as other NFL draft analysts paint it out to be, but there is room for technical improvement. 

Vertical routes are where Mims will hurt your secondary the most, but the receiver needs polishing on his technique to be able to pivot in comeback routes and horizontal cuts.

Mims’ overall natural ability and a slight improvement in his technique at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine are huge boosters to the talented receiver’s draft stock. 

There’s a player that always comes out of the shadows and makes his way into the inner draft circle hierarchy every draft season. Mims is one of those players this year and proved his worthiness of becoming a first-round pick.

Given Mims’ traits and explosive ability makes the wide receiver a perfect fit for Philadelphia’s needs. The Eagles face an uphill battle climbing up the draft board and landing one of the top tier receiver prospects during the 2020 NFL Draft in CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs. Mims as a fallback option may ultimately become Philadelphia’s best-case scenario while saving them from moving their second-round pick in a proposed trade up, while also giving the team an immediate impact caliber of player.

Philadelphia appears poised to add a young receiver in the draft to pair him with their franchise quarterback for the majority of his prime. Mims presents them with a viable option and is worthy of the Eagles’ first-round pick.

 Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports