Not every wide receiver that breaks out in a particular draft class comes from the first or early second rounds. Drafting is hard. NFL teams mess things up. No one is perfect. Some players slip through the cracks. One candidate to do so might be Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims Jr. Mims is getting a lot of hype despite a projected third-round ADP in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Should Mims be a candidate to be one of the top receivers in this class? Let’s find out.
Marvin Mims Jr. is a versatile player, but make no mistake about it his strength comes from his speed. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine and that is no fluke. That speed shows up on the gridiron too. Mims is one of those guys that you can’t underthrow. He will run under just about any deep ball you throw him. But on the chance you do make him go out of his way to bring a ball in, he’s also good at tracking off-kilter bombs and winning contested catch battles. This is one of the craziest throws and catches you’ll ever see.
CALEB WILLIAMS JUST MADE ONE OF THE GREATEST THROWS EVER TO MARVIN MIMS! pic.twitter.com/9yh8pO8EA7
— Zak (@CaramelPhd) October 9, 2021
Marvin Mims averaged 20.1 yards per reception during his collegiate career. That ranks in the 94th-percentile of all receiver prospects in PlayerProfiler’s database. Mims’ average depth of target was around 16-to-17 yards every year of his career at Oklahoma. But that, as well as his yards per reception average, peaked in his sophomore season when he averaged 22 yards per reception. According to Scott Barrett of Fantasy Points, his 17.2 yards per target in 2021 was the most of any Power 5 receiver since 2015. From an efficiency standpoint, Marvin Mims‘ 2021 season was one of the best collegiate seasons you’ll find.
Best WR Seasons by YPTOE
(Power 5 Only, Since 2017, min. 40 targets)
1. Jaylen Waddle, 2019 (+108%)
2. JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA, 2021 (+89%)
3. DeVonta Smith, 2019 (+88%)
4. MARVIN MIMS, 2021 (+84%)
5. CeeDee Lamb, 2019 (+79%)
6. A.J. Brown, 2017 (+77%)
7. Jaylen Waddle, 2018 (+75%)…
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) April 8, 2023
Granted, Mims only registered 41 targets in 13 games, but it’s still impressive. Turns out, when you pair a receiver of Mims’ speed and caliber next to the next quarterback phenom in Caleb Williams, good things happen.
Marvin Mims‘ efficiency numbers weren’t quite as gaudy in 2022, but they still were excellent after a complete overhaul of Oklahoma’s football program. Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams left for USC, and in came former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and former UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel. With all due respect to Gabriel, he is not Caleb Williams. Gabriel got the job done and was able to get Mims the ball enough. Mims still averaged over 20 yards per reception despite more than doubling his overall target number and target share. He eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his college career. But his yards per target number fell from that massive 17.2 number in 2021 to a still quite good 11.9 number in 2022.
To summarize: Marvin Mims is an excellent deep ball receiver. If you want more proof, look no further than Mims’ reception perception.
NEW Marvin Mims #ReceptionPerception Prospect Profile is up on the site.
– 72.2% success rate vs. man coverage puts him in range with top prospects
– Can absolutely fly + track the ball
Check out his comp and where he can improve in intermediate areas:https://t.co/PG2kHHKqDj pic.twitter.com/mRoa0BNO3U
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) April 6, 2023
If wide receiver guru Matt Harmon says you’re good, then you’re good. Mims grades well on deep routes, but does that mean he’s just a deep threat? Au contraire. In the games I watched, Mims was a guy who could win in the intermediate areas of the field too.
Mims doesn’t grade the best on curl routes according to Matt Harmon, but he had no problem taking what the defense gave him on that route. You could say the same about many speedsters, but Mims looked very fluid running that route. He didn’t waste many steps in slowing down and turning around to get the ball.
Marvin Mims can also masquerade as a chain mover. According to Scott Barrett, Mims played 46-percent of his snaps inside as a slot receiver. He proved quite effective in the short areas of the field from there too.
Mims is open and targeted here on this 3rd & 6 play after getting motioned into the slot, but the pass got deflected at the LOS by Felix Anudike-Uzomah pic.twitter.com/yBzEx8i8vz
— Shervon Fakhimi (@ShervonFakhimi) April 7, 2023
The ball never makes it there after it gets batted down by Kansas State defensive end and future pro Felix Anudike-Uzomah, but Mims gets open. He’s right there to move the chains and pick up a first down on 3rd and six. He did his job. Mims did it again later in the game to pick up a first down.
Additionally, Mims is excellent with the ball in his hands. Oklahoma used Mims as their punt returner, where he registered 391 yards over three seasons and 11.8 yards per return. They gave him a fair share of screen passes and let him do his thing after. Mims made a habit of churning out extra yards.
Mims specializes as a deep threat, but he can be used in a myriad of other ways too.
An Analytical Angel
Mims has a lot of things going for him. We mentioned his 94th-percentile college yards per reception mark earlier. His 18.5-year-old breakout age ranks in the 96th-percentile of wide receiver prospects as well. His 63rd-percentile college target share (22.4-percent) is not too shabby either. He’s also an early declare, which isn’t a tipping point in any direction by any means, but another nice feather in his cap.
That isn’t to say Mims doesn’t have analytical warts. His college dominator score is at 27.5-percent, ranking in the 47th-percentile. According to JJ Zachariason, Mims’ best season receptions per game average is 4.2, well below the average of receivers who were invited to the combine. Their combined average is 5.3. He registered 123 receptions over three seasons. For context, Jordan Addison and Josh Downs both had at least 100 receptions in a season! But considering he led his team in receiving yards in each of his three seasons and the turnover throughout Oklahoma’s program, those low numbers are understandable.
Is Mims an alpha? I don’t think so. But he has a lot working for him. He’s not huge but he definitely isn’t small either. He certainly isn’t slow. Mims was productive at a big school from the jump. He has a versatile skillset and specializes in winning deep. What’s not to like?
If Mims really does get drafted in Round 3 of the upcoming NFL Draft, he will be a sleeping giant in upcoming drafts that fantasy gamers should not overlook. Mims looks closer to Diontae Johnson and Terry McLaurin on paper than, say, Devin Duvernay and Anthony Schwartz.