Route Tree - He doesn't run the most diverse tree in the world and his breaks can at times be telegraphed — needs more nuance to his route stems. That said, his body mobility and skill to snap off breaks is sufficient, especially for his size. He's best on back shoulders, fades and vertical routes where he can hand-fight.
Hands - He's got really plucky hands, impressive catch radius and he's consistently snatching the ball away from DBs. His ability to erase inaccurate throws is notable both along the sideline and when his passer misses high. Willing hands catcher in traffic to boot, won't alligator arm tight window throws.
Contested Catch Ability - He's really effective in scenarios where he's able to box out defenders and put his frame between the ball and the defender. He's so long, difficult to play through his hands because he's crafty to elevate with timing to meet the ball at the highest point. Soft hands show up here to secure the ball away from the body.
RAC Ability - He's surprisingly explosive for such a long body. He's not overly fluid to break a pursuit angle with a hard stop but he's got good field vision and an active free hands to create issues at first contact. Strong, has carried a defender on his back on more than one occasion to pick up additional yardage.
Football IQ - He's coming along here. Understands how to attack with angles out of his stance and close ground on defensive backs, but he needs more flavoring with his breaks to keep DBs on their heels. Natural ball skills to identify the football and natural sense of sideline awareness and ability to navigate tight spaces.
Vertical Receiving Skills - He's big time when the ball is in the air. He's springy and shows great elevation skills to collect the ball even in tight spaces. His flight adjustment to work himself into position under the ball is effective to keep himself in stride as the football arrives.
Change of Direction Ability - He's not super sudden and his high, lean frame doesn't provide him a ton of foot speed but that said, his steps are crisp and deliberate. He's most limited in hard lateral cuts, doesn't have a lot of juice to spring or drive out of a contact window or away from a tackle and as a result he's more linear with his explosion.
Speed - Long speed is very good. He's got a very apparent track background and in the open field when he opens his strides up he's capable of flying down the field. He's got better short area acceleration than you'd expect and on more shallow angle breaks he carries is speed very well.
Competitive Toughness - Tough! He's not a physically dominant presence but I love the attitude he brings to the perimeter on stalk blocks or at the catch point. Not easily deterred by contact and uprooted from his track of the ball. He's got assertive rip at the ball to ensure no one gets trash into his body to hinder the catch.
Blocking Ability - Long arms are really effective here to keep his hands engaged and be a persistent pest on the boundary. He's got good effort here and effective leg drive to stay attached. Slow plays his stalk release before driving inside and against press coverage he gets hands on quickly and converts into a power press at the LOS.
Best Trait - Catch Radius
Worst Trait - Lateral Quickness
Best Film - Texas (2019)
Worst Film - Texas Tech (2019)
Red Flags - None
Summary - Denzel Mims projects as an X-receiver at the NFL level. With his notable catch radius, physical play and high end body control, Mims projects as a potential starter at the pro level. He brings developing routes and effective play side blocking to the field — which will help him find reps early on in his pro career as he looks to add further refinement to his game. Mims enjoyed a career season in 2019 and appears to have the arrow facing up as he transitions into the pro game.