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2020 NFL Draft

Baylor WR Denzel Mims Can Catch, But ‘Loves to Block’



Steelers Denzel Mims

INDIANAPOLIS — Baylor’s Denzel Mims is a wide receiver. But if you ask him about his game, he’s not going to give you a typical wide receiver answer.

The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Daingerfield, Texas native had over 1,000 yards receiving for the second time as a collegiate in 2019 and finished three full years at Baylor with 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns.

But the thing that he thinks makes hims stand out is his blocking ability.

“My blocking stands out on film,” Mims said at the 2020 NFL Combine on Tuesday. “I think I take pride in it. I love to block. I’m not selfish guy.”

There wasn’t a specific reason Mims decided he wanted to put his energy into becoming a better blocker. It was just something that he saw that helped the team’s goals.

“I know if you dominate in the blocking game, it opens up the passing game,” Mims said. “If I block my corner real hard and he gets tired of me blocking him, then it opens up the passing game for me.”

The Steelers have always enjoyed blocking wide receivers, dating back to Hines Ward’s tenure with the team that caused changes to the NFL rulebook, and Mims is a player that could be on their radar.

Mims has a solid combination of size and speed, so the combine should be a good opportunity for him to showcase his abilities. Since Baylor’s season ended, it’s been the more technical parts of his game that he’s been working to improve.

“I feel like I can do a better job with transitions at the top of my routes,” he said. “I just want to be taking pride in it and try to do better at it. Slant. I love the slant. I love going across the middle to catch the ball.

“I want to get elite running out of my routes, so that I can get away from defenders, catch the ball and get open more.”

Mims’ draft stock has been pretty variable. Some outlets have him going later on day three, while others have him rising into the second or third rounds.

“Most definitely think I belong in the first round,” Mims said. But he’s not sweating the process at this moment. “I don’t have Twitter, so I don’t pay attention to none of that stuff.”

A skill position player that puts teams goals first, emphasized blocking over production and doesn’t care what people say about him on social media is a pretty rare combination in 2020. They say the NFL Combine is a job interview. If so, Mims is nailing his.

“Always be humble, put team first and never be satisfied in what you’re doing.”

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