According to longtime ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts are projected to select Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims and Washington quarterback Jacob Eason with the 34th and 44th overall picks respectively in his latest NFL Mock Draft 4.0:
Regarding Mims, the 6’3”, 207 pound senior wideout caught 66 receptions for 1,020 receiving yards (15.5 ypr avg) and 12 touchdown receptions in 13 starts this past season—earning First-Team All-Big 12 honors.
His stock only rose further, as he posted a 4.38 forty time, 38.5 inch vertical, and 131.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. His SPARQ rating (which measures overall athleticism) is in the 94.6% NFL percentile—good for 4th best among his wide receiver draft class.
Of course, the Colts could use help at wide receiver. General manager Chris Ballard could very well look for a big bodied wideout to pair on the other side of Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton and to provide veteran quarterback Philip Rivers a tall target downfield and in the red zone.
The former Baylor Bears star seems like a rare combination of size, proven production, and athleticism for the Colts—if he’s actually still there at #34 for Indianapolis.
Mims showed incredible fluidity in-and-out of routes, nice hands, the ability to win 50-50 jumpballs down the field, and a huge catch radius to make highly contested catches.
Mims does need to show some further refinement in playing through contact (i.e, press coverage, catch point, etc.) and his overall route-running—although he was somewhat limited by Baylor’s lack of route tree variety.
For what it’s worth, the Colts seem highly interested in Mims too.
Here’s what others are saying on Mims:
Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks): Thinks that Baylor WR Denzel Mims has a chance to be the best WR in the draft. Thinks that he’s very smooth, athletic, and acrobatic. Can also be had a “round or so” later than some other bigger names.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) February 21, 2020
Denzel Mims playing like a power forward and bullying the DB for a touchdown. His ceiling is so high. pic.twitter.com/lazkF9Z7FD— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) April 1, 2020
We will stay with WR today. Yesterday it was Pittman and HIggins. Today it's Denzel Mims and Justin Jefferson. It's a deep WR class. Different sizes, different traits, different ways to transition to the NFL. pic.twitter.com/P7292B627Z— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 27, 2020
Mims is a contested catch highlight reel pic.twitter.com/Yop2FtEgdi— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 23, 2020
Hamler has worst drop rate, but problem with Mims is that he lets so many CBs bully him at catch point at times, I’m not sure how many go down as drops but they are missed opportunities. https://t.co/BBuwpoQDj3— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 4, 2020
Meanwhile, the 6’6”, 231 pound junior quarterback Jacob Eason completed 260 of 405 throws (64.2%) for 3,132 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 13 starts for the Huskies in 2019.
Eason posted a 4.89 forty time, 27.5 inch vertical, and 110.0 inch at the NFL Combine, which placed him in the 16.7% NFL Percentile (14th best in his quarterback draft class).
However, he did show an incredibly live arm in combine drills.
The equally big bodied, big armed quarterback has the prototypical size and arm strength that scouts simply love from the quarterback position. He can fit the football through tight windows, throw bombs downfield, and really shines in play-action—with the ability to hang tight under pressure.
However, Eason needs to continue to work on his accuracy, progression of reads, and pocket composure at times. He can also trust his laser rocket arm way too much.
There’s also been questions about his work ethic and personality—and being too laid back.
The Colts could actively be looking for their next franchise quarterback of the future, as veteran Philip Rivers is 38 years old and is just a starting stopgap right now. For what it’s worth, Kiper projects the Colts to select Eason over Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Eason could develop and redshirt behind Rivers for at least a season before assuming the Colts starting job as soon as 2021—as they both have that ‘gunslingers mentality’.
Here what other draft experts are saying on Eason:
Jacob Eason, QB, Washington:— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 14, 2020
• “No, No, No....great job!” thrower
• At his best off of play-action fakes
• Daredevil decision maker
• Highly confident/competitive (++)
• Gorgeous deep ball thrower
• Mirror image of Jay Cutler pic.twitter.com/EQWfbSuike
Today let's look at 2 QBs - Jacob Eason and James Morgan. I will be fascinated to see where they go in the draft, particularly Eason. Eason is a little bit old school: a pocket QB with an easy powerful arm who can drive the ball to all areas of the field. pic.twitter.com/IBngpXSt8N— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) April 9, 2020
Herbert might be the safest of the 3, Love has the highest upside and Eason is the most erratic but with the cannon. Low floor, however.— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) February 8, 2020