Packers Targeting Baylor Star WR in NFL Draft?

Packers Interest Denzel Mims

Getty Denzel Mims #15 of the Baylor Bears makes a pass reception against Bolu Onifade #7 and Koy Richardson #22 of the Abilene Christian Wildcats at McLane Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Waco, Texas.

The Green Bay Packers might have found a new No. 2 wide receiver in Devin Funchess, but general manager Brian Gutekunst could still have his sights set acquiring one of the top receiving talents in the upcoming NFL draft class.

If that’s the case, consider Baylor star Denzel Mims a prime candidate for their No. 30 overall pick.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovksy, the Packers have “expressed an interest” in Mims and “like him a lot” as a potential fit for their offensive system, intensifying speculation that Green Bay will draft a wideout in the first round for the first time since drafting Javon Walker at No. 20 overall in 2020.

“We’ll have to look to the draft to find players that (Aaron) Rodgers can get the ball to in playmaker positions and one guy to keep an eye on is Denzel Mims of Baylor,” Demovsky said Tuesday on ESPN. “Multiple sources have told me the Packers like him a lot and have expressed interest with him, so keep an eye on that when the Packers are on the clock at No. 30.”

Mims caught 186 passes for 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns in his four seasons as one of Baylor’s steadiest producers, eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards as both a sophomore and senior. While his technique still needs some work, he is a natural athlete with top-level speed, excellent ball skills and a physical presence as a blocker at 6-foot-3, 206 pounds.

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Mims Could Be Perfect Fit, If Still Available

Draft analysts seem convinced Mims will make an immediate impact in the NFL after putting up career numbers in his final season with the Bears, and his few shortcomings are all things the Packers are well-equipped to address if he starts his career in Green Bay.

Mims excelled leaning on his athleticism and speed during his collegiate career, but his technique and route-running will need some polishing for him to make a serious impact at the next level. Luckily, the Packers have Davante Adams, one of the NFL’s most gifted route-runners, to show him the ropes and help him get him on the same page with a quarterback who relies on connections with his receivers to deliver some extraordinary plays.

Mims’ ability to slide into either an X or Z receiver role for the Packers also makes him an ideal complement for Adams, who can line up at just about any spot and naturally commands the most attention from defenders as a three-time Pro Bowl threat. Finding a way to pair him properly with both Adams and Funchess could see the Packers offense climb to new heights in 2020.

The bigger question about Mims heading into the draft is whether impressive showings at the Senior Bowl and last month’s NFL Scouting Combine will send his stock soaring out of the Packers’ reach. If he is, the Packers still have a variety of top-tier receivers to choose from in the first few rounds.

Among the receivers who could still be available when the Packers pick at No. 30 are TCU’s Jalen Reagor, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. and Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk — and the first round is hardly the cutoff point for talented wideouts.

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