2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Denzel Mims
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Baylor University
Weight: 215 pounds
When Mims returned to Waco, some scratched their heads. He possessed draftable ability last year. Yet, he lacked route nuance that could play heavily into draft positioning. Basically, he stayed in school to hone his skills and improve hi stock. When it comes to how he attacks routes, that needs revision. In his return, you saw more of a polished approach off the snap. Notice the leg drive and dig on the shorter routes. Mims sells the vertical pattern before breaking off. Equally important, he opens up later on timing routes, which will not tip the pattern.
Again, going back to school helped this trait immeasurably. Mims stabs the ball with confidence and fluidity, as opposed to his early days that appeared mechanical and rather stiff. On top of the improvement, Mims presents the quarterback with an extended catch radius. quarterbacks can throw it in the vicinity, instead of needing to pinpoint the pass to a particular spot.
From the snap, Mims gives corners problems with one step explosion. He will get on top of the defender in an instant. After, depending on route, he displays the skill to pull away. Mims shows a second, and even third gear to separate from defenders.
Despite his length, Mims will cut and pivot like a smaller wideout. Now, don’t confuse him with a tiny slot. However, Mims can defeat the press with slight fakes. With his long speed, in the back of the minds of opponents, he can shift his weight off either foot to plant. Plus, Mims will outjump corners on 50/50 balls with ease. He doesn’t need to gather and overbend at the knee to jump.
When the Raiders signed Tyrell Williams, they hoped that he would inhabit the second receiver role. When they traded for Antonio Brown, Williams would’ve cemented that role. After the Brown fiasco ended, Williams found himself as the number-one wideout. After catching a touchdown in his first four games, Williams struggled with separation. He could not free himself down field. More importantly, drops became a major issue. With an out after this season, the Raiders could scrap/re-work his contract and see him take a pay cut.
With that said, Mims provides a significant upgrade for the position. First, Mims possesses a slightly larger frame, yet is also faster. On top of that, Mims wants to win every jump back, backshoulder fade or any other contested pass. Lastly, Mims can settle into a complimentary role within the confines of the offense, Mims’ playmaking leaps off the screen and you can envision him giving the Raiders the deep threat that they lack currently. Derek Carr needs that ace-in-the-hole vertically to threaten safeties. As a result, Darren Waller feasts underneath and Josh Jacobs sees more green that defender.