The Colts are in desperate need of a wide receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton. Denzel Mims is arguably the perfect fit in Indianapolis moving forward into 2020.
Yes, the 2020 NFL Draft is up in the air and is going to shift to a virtual replacement. However, the Indianapolis Colts’ need for a WR is still very apparent. The closure of this year’s offseason is crucial for the front office to plug up the last few holes before the regular season rolls around.
GM Chris Ballard has done a great job utilizing free agency to turn this young roster into one capable of winning immediately. The draft is the last piece of the puzzle that he needs to snap in place in order for this team to reach its full potential by the start of the season.
Ballard’s approach to free agency addressed and fixed the two biggest needs: quarterback and defensive line. With new Pro Bowl players littered through the roster, it’s time for the NFL Draft to become the high point of the offseason, much like in 2018.
With that, it’s still clear that the team desperately needs a receiver to complement T.Y. Hilton on the outside. Return men Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers were serviceable last season once injuries sprung up at the position, and players buried near the bottom of the depth chart, such as Marcus Johnson and Ashton Dulin, did much more than expected.
This isn’t a viable option moving forward. Parris Campbell and Dariuce Fountain are both young and promising prospects but have been off the field with injuries more than on it. The 2020 draft is crucial for the Colts to finally land their #2 WR opposite of Hilton, and Baylor’s Denzel Mims is the perfect target.
Mims, while not being the most premier route runner in this draft class, is a great deep threat due to his athleticism and ball skills. At 6’3″ and 207 pounds, he wins the majority of 50/50 balls thrown his way. This is something QB Phillip Rivers has excelled at in his career, especially with his former #1 WR, Keenan Allen.
His 4.38 speed is one of his best attributes, especially for someone his size. It allows him to break cleanly and quickly off of the line of scrimmage to gain the first step advantage over the opposing defensive back. One thing that really stands out to me about Mims is his ability to track the ball down the field in any position. That, coupled with his outstanding athleticism, greatly expands his catch radius for his QB.
A couple of things that Mims struggles with, as I mentioned above, is his route running. His tree isn’t extremely diverse, especially compared to other prospects in the draft this year, and that limits his effectiveness against tight coverage.
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While his athletic ability does help to negate that, he has a tendency to struggle against press coverage. His large frame is both an advantage and disadvantage to him; he extends his catch radius but commonly runs a little too tall in his routes.
This is another factor in his average route-running. Mims has a tendency to drop passes. From studying film, he thrives in gaining Yards After Catch (YAC) because of his ability to turn on his second gear. However, Mims seems to focus on YAC a little too much, leading to a lack of concentration and a few dropped passes.
Is he a fit in Indianapolis?
Mims is a definite fit for the Colts. He’s a perfect fit next to T.Y. Hilton, as Hilton is a smaller and quicker receiver in space and Mims is a big-bodied, contested-catch machine. He’s a perfect fit for Phillip Rivers, as well, as Mims has a good amount of similarities with Charger WR, Keenan Allen. His big frame, expanded catch radius, and breakaway speed at the second level are all comparable attributes to Allen. Mims will certainly fit right in with Rivers as a great fit opposite of Hilton.
He’s a great fit in what the front office is looking for in most of their early-round prospects. He showed out in the Senior Bowl as one of the position’s top prospects. He showed his contested catch and first-rate athleticism all throughout the week, and that’s something that the front office surely noticed when analyzing players during that time span.
His 9.76 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) out of 10 shows exactly the strengths that he has at his position, which is something that Ballard for sure noticed throughout his time scouting this offseason.
He’s a perfect option for the Colts at either 34th or 44th overall, as Mims has been mocked to go anywhere from the end of the 1st round to the 3rd day of the draft. His athleticism best almost everyone in this draft class, and his big-bodied style of play will translate perfectly in the new Rivers-led Colts offense.