With the NFL draft fast approaching later in the month, I thought it would be a good idea to look back on the career of one Baylor’s best play-makers over the past several seasons. According to the latest Todd McShay draft projections, Mims is slated to go early in the 2nd round. Currently, he is the highest projected Baylor player.
5. Oklahoma 2017 – There wasn’t much to cheer about in the early part of the 2017 season. But after Denzel Mims caught a career long 71 yard strike from Zach Smith, the crowd erupted for the first time all season. Mims finished the contest with 192 receiving yds on 11 catches, and 3 TDs. More importantly, it showed that Baylor still had young weapons in the arsenal for the future.
4.) Sideline Catch Texas Tech 2019 – With time winding down and Baylor down a field goal, Denzel Mims made a tip-toe catch on the Baylor sideline that put the Bears in position to force overtime. Baylor avoided an upset loss at home and used the momentum to roll through their next few games on the way to a Big 12 title game appearance.
3.) 4th & 6 TCU 2019 – For a while it looked like Baylor was not going to be able to get the TCU monkey off their back in 2019. After forcing double OT, the Bears were down to their last play before Denzel Mims got a step on his defender and used his range to snag the football and stroll into the end-zone. It all happened so fast and he made it look easy. He followed it up with an acrobatic catch in the 3rd overtime, which ultimately turned out to be the game winning score.
2.) Tip to himself TD Kansas State 2018 – I dubbed this game a “Must Win” for Baylor early in my ODB writing days. The Bears were coming off a blowout loss against Oklahoma and fans still had the disappointing Duke game in their minds. And midway through the 4th quarter it was not looking promising. A 2-3 Kansas State squad was beating Baylor 27-20 until Denzel Mims was able to score on arguably the toughest catch of his career. Once again using his length, Mims was able to raise his right hand to tap the ball directly into his belly. Baylor went on to win the game 37-34.
1.) Fade Route TD Oklahoma State 2018 – Context is everything for this #1 ranking moment. Obviously, Denzel Mims had more acrobatic catches and more stat filled games, but that catch stands out because it moved forward the trajectory of the entire program. I am a firm believer that the 2019 season doesn’t happen without the Texas Bowl win in 2018, and that doesn’t happen without the game-winning catch from Mims. The win did 2 things. First, it finally solidified Charlie Brewer as the unquestioned leader, (remember he did not start the game and was coming off getting benched against WVU) and it showed that team could be clutch against a solid opponent. I am not sure how everyone else remembers it, but I think that was the loudest I have ever heard McLane Stadium.
It will be fun to watch which NFL team grabs the former Baylor receiver. Recruited by a prior coaching staff, Mims stayed on board, improved every year, and earned his opportunity to play at the next level. It’s a debatable list, but what there is no doubt about is the crucial roll that Denzel Mims had on the Baylor program.