By Pranayn Malempati | Sports Writer
The 2020 NFL Draft, being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, continued Friday with the second and third rounds. Wide receiver Denzel Mims became the first Baylor player to be selected when the New York Jets took him in the second round with the 59th overall pick.
Mims was projected to be a late first or early second round pick, but ended up slipping to near the end of the second round. He is still the highest-drafted Bear since wide receiver Corey Coleman was taken in the first round as the 15th overall selection in 2016.
As a senior in 2019, Mims started all 14 games for Baylor. His 66 catches for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns earned him First-Team All-Big 12 honors. He is the only player in the FBS to have eight or more receiving touchdowns in each of the last three years.
Along with his production in college, Mims’ combine measurables were a big reason he went early in the draft. At 6 feet, 3 inches and 207 pounds, Mims ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. He will provide the Jets with a unique combination of size and speed at the wide receiver position.
This draft’s receiver class was called the deepest in a long time. Teams certainly seemed to agree with that prediction, as Mims was one of 13 receivers picked in the first two rounds.
As for the remaining players selected on Friday, here is a brief recap of rounds two and three:
Round Two Highlights:
The first two picks of the second round were wide receivers, as the Cincinnati Bengals took former Clemson wideout Tee Higgins 33rd overall and the Indianapolis Colts took former USC receiver Michael Pittman, Jr. 34th overall.
The first Division II player came off the board at pick 37 when the New England Patriots snagged safety Kyle Dugger from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Aside from Mims, two other Big 12 players were taken in the second round. TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock went to the Houston Texans 40th overall and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts went to the Philadelphia Eagles at 53rd overall.
With Hurts going to Philadelphia, where he will most likely back-up Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, he was the second straight quarterback taken by a surprising team. The Green Bay Packers unexpectedly took Utah State QB Jordan Love in the first round on Thursday.
Round Three Highlights:
A lot of teams went for the trenches in the third round. 14 out of the 42 third round selections were either offensive or defensive linemen. Only 17 linemen were taken in the first two rounds combined.
The Patriots took two tight ends this round in Devin Asiasi out of UCLA and Dalton Keene from Virginia Tech. The last time New England took two tight ends in the same draft was in 2010 when the team selected Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Four Big 12 players went in the third round. Texas had two selections in safety Brandon Jones (Miami Dolphins) and receiver Devin Duvernay (Baltimore Ravens). TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang went to the Kansas City Chiefs, while Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore went to the Dallas Cowboys.
Utah running back Zack Moss, who was projected to go in the second round, notably fell to the Buffalo Bills at number 86 overall.
The 2020 NFL Draft continues at 11 a.m. Saturday on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network with the final four rounds. Baylor players looking to be drafted include defensive lineman James Lynch, cornerback Graylond Arnold and linebacker Clay Johnston.