Latest in a Packers Prospects series looking at players Green Bay could select in the April 23-25 NFL draft.
GREEN BAY - Going over the measurements of the receiving room for the Green Bay Packers in 2019, it was easy to notice only one player didn’t play at over 6-feet tall – undrafted rookie Darrius Shepherd.
General manager Brian Gutekunst makes it no secret he likes big pass catchers. Head coach Matt LaFleur is a fan, too, especially when he asks them to muscle up and help in the run game.
Baylor wideout Denzel Mims seems to be a fit for both, as the 6-foot, 3-inch, 207-pounder thoroughly enjoys blocking – he said embracing it would make him an elite receiver – but also has top-end speed for his position. He also possesses the initial burst and separation LaFleur craves from his receivers, with one draft analyst calling Mims’ combine-best three-cone drill of 6.66 seconds “ridiculous.”
Mims could also be appealing as the Packers and new wide receivers coach Jason Vrable head into an offseason that will be shortened quite a bit, as he would come into camp with a bit more experience than most having played in 49 games (though only 12 starts).
Age next season: 22.
Combine vitals: 4.38-second 40-yard dash, 38.5-inch vertical, 131-inch broad jump.
Stats: Two, 1,000-yard seasons; 48.8% contested catch rate, 182 career catches.
Pro Football Focus analysis: After barely seeing the field as a freshman in 2016, Mims broke out with a monster sophomore campaign that saw him tip over 1,000 yards on the year and score eight times. Firmly on the NFL's radar at that point, Mims looked likely to declare with a big junior year, but that never materialized. He dropped 11 of 66 catchable balls that year and took a step backward production-wise. He rebounded nicely with yet another 1,000-yard season in 2019, but he couldn't quite answer lingering questions about his route running that dated to 2017.
Draftniks say: “I think he's got a chance to really end up being one of the best receivers in the draft. And we'll see where he ends up. But he's almost 6'3", 206 pounds. He's another one -- he wins at the line of scrimmage. He is just so smooth and athletic, he's got some acrobatic catches, a lot of contested catches, just real athletic. And after the catch, he's just kind of a slippery, smooth, make-you-miss player. He's not the most physical player. But I think he's a second-round pick all day long with how he plays.” – NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah
Quotable: “Really just transition off the top of my routes. I feel I can do a better job transitioning out of my routes, running my routes. That's what I'm taking pride in and get better at.” – Mims on what coaches have said he has to work on.