The Jets, 11 picks after sending their own second-round pick to Seattle in trade, returned to general manager Joe Douglas' "playmakers and protection" equation to benefit QB Sam Darnold and the offense when they selected Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims with the 59th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft tonight.
Mims knew immediately where his bread was buttered when his first question from Jets reporters was what he knew about Darnold.
"I think he's a great quarterback," he said. "I think I can come in right away and we can get rolling together, build a great connection, and make the Jets program a lot better. I feel I can do a lot of good things to help the team and I beleive the Jets believe in me."
Mims (6'3", 207) comes from a family of accomplished football players and was a big scholastic star who got plenty of respect playing at Daingerfield HS in Texas. He was a three-year starter at Baylor, leading the Bears in receiving two of the last three seasons and becoming the only player in college football to score at least eight receiving TDs in each of the last three seasons.
"I know when it comes down to crunch time at the end of the game, I want the spotlight on me," he said. "I want to be the one to help the team get the victory. I want everything on my shoulders."
Last season he totaled 66 receptions for 1,020 yards (15.5 yards/catch) and 12 touchdowns and earned All-Big 12 first-team honors. For his career, he totaled 186 catches for 2,925 yards and 18 TDs in 49 games (36 starts).
He's a long-strider who roared to a 4.38-second in the 40 at the February Combine, tied for third-fastest among all WRs this year. Meanwhile, his 6.66-second 3-cone drill led all wideouts by at least 3/10ths of a second.
Mims is the first Baylor player to be taken by the Jets since QB Bryce Petty in 2015. He's only the seventh Bear to be drafted by the Green & White all-time and the highest player taken in terms of round and second-highest in overall selection after QB Bobby Ply was tabbed by the Titans of New York with the 37th pick of the 1962 AFL Draft. Ply never played for the Titans/Jets.
The Jets have little history with the No. 59 slot in the draft. In AFL Drafts in 1963 and '64 they took Dartmouth QB Bill King and Alabama T Steve Wright respectively, but neither player wore the Jets green in their career. The Jets also held the 59th pick in 1993 but traded it to Cincinnati to acquire QB Boomer Esiason, and also in 2007 but packed that and the 25th pick to Carolina for the 14th overall pick, with which they famously selected CB Darrelle Revis.
See the Top Images of the Wide Receiver from Baylor, Who Was Selected No. 59 Overall in the 2020 NFL Draft