Marvin Mims and Cedric Tillman are Emerging as Priority Fliers—Rookie WRs Tiers 4-5

Marvin Mims and Cedric Tillman are Emerging as Priority Fliers—Rookie WRs Tiers 4-5


This rookie wide receiver class isn't as strong as we're used to, but it is remarkable in at least one way: The consensus top six is as strong as I can remember seeing. Pretty much every evaluator has the same top six WRs that I do, and usually very close to the same order. And the overlap doesn't stop there. In the fantasy community, there is a growing consensus that Marvin Mims is the clear-cut WR7 in this class, with the potential to move up rankings with enough NFL draft capital. It hurts my contrarian heart to write this... but I completely agree.

Tier 4 - Priority Fliers

Marvin Mims

At a Glance

Marvin Mims is an early declare wide receiver who impressed as a highly efficient deep threat in three seasons at Oklahoma. He is a bit smaller than ideal for the NFL, but with sub-4.4 speed, he still has an exciting ceiling as a downfield producer.

Positive Indicators

Mims played three seasons at Oklahoma and was extremely efficient for his entire career. As a freshman, he posted 4.07 YPRR while garnering 610 yards and nine TDs. He came back down to Earth a bit in 2021 but was still impressively efficient, with a 2.62 YPRR. Finally, as a true junior, he posted 2.75 YPRR. All told, Mims totaled a 2.95 career YPRR, which is an elite mark. As I'll get to, Mims never quite got there in the market share threshold I prefer, but his efficiency was very impressive throughout his career.

Mims also produced his yards in a way that the NFL may find appealing. He was a clear deep threat, with a 16.7 career aDOT and aDOTs of 17.6 and 17.0 over his final two seasons. Mims produced 58% of his career yards on 20+ yard targets, the highest rate in the 2023 class. Even deep threats like Christian Watson (51%), Darius Slayton (52), and DK Metcalf (52%) were meaningfully below Mims' deep yardage rate. So it's safe to say he'll have an NFL calling card.

Mims was especially dangerous on deep targets because he added yards after the catch. 50% of his career YAC came on targets 10+ yards downfield, and he averaged 4.1 YAC per game on downfield targets, which matches DK Metcalf's career rate. Mims wasn't quite the YAC producer that Jordan Addison or Quentin Johnston was, but he was still impressive after the catch and did his YAC damage primarily downfield.

At 5-foot-11, 183, Mims needs to be a high-end athlete to win downfield in the NFL. Fortunately, he tested exceptionally well at the Combine.

Mims' 4.38 40 with an elite 10-yard split is exactly what you want to see for a smaller deep threat who will need to win with speed and explosion. And it doesn't hurt that he crushed the jumps and displayed solid agility.

There's also strong reason to believe that Mims hasn't hit his ceiling yet. In addition to declaring early for the draft, Mims is just 21 years old and doesn't turn 22 until next March.

Red Flags

Mims was efficient as soon as he stepped on the field at Oklahoma, but his production wasn't ideal. Using a 30% dominator rating as the breakout threshold (which is my preference), Mims never had a breakout college season. He got in the vicinity as a freshman with a 24% dominator rating and a 30% TD share. And he got even closer as a junior with a 27% dominator rating and a 33% yardage share. But he never put yardage and TD domination together in the same season.

And Mims' production also looks a bit lacking from a career standpoint. His career 24% yardage share isn't bad, but it's not particularly strong, even for an early declare WR.

Statistical Comps

  • Elijah Moore
  • Anthony Schwartz
  • Justin Hunter
  • Paul Richardson

Elijah Moore is a close comp for Mims, which would have seemed a lot more exciting a year ago. Moore was a young, undersized, early declare with impressive athleticism. Like Mims, he was also highly efficient, finishing his career with 2.75 YPRR. But Moore was more productive than Mims and, stylistically, was a different type of player. Moore played 92% of his snaps in the slot while operating at a fairly shallow 10.5 aDOT. Mims did his damage downfield and primarily from the outside, playing 54% of his career snaps out wide. Moore's NFL outlook took a hit when he stopped seeing as much work on the outside in 2022. There's no guarantee that Mims is as talented as Moore, but he looks less likely to be relegated to slot-only work.

Anthony Schwartz had a better peak dominator rating (29%) than Mims and is even faster, with a 4.27 40. Justin Hunter had better size than Mims and matched Mims' peak dominator rating (27%). This is why college production is highly preferred. Mims has some exciting elements to his profile, but it's hard to shake the idea that he has a low floor, given his lack of a truly dominant season.

Paul Richardson was more productive than Mims in college. But he also weighed eight pounds less; Mims' slightly bigger frame makes him a higher-upside bet. Still, it's plausible that Mims never carves out more than a part-time role as an ancillary field stretcher.

Best Ball Outlook

Mims is starting to gain considerable hype in the fantasy football community. Scott Barrett had a great hype thread on Mims, which has helped raise his profile among best ball drafters.

I'm not quite as high on Mims as Scott, but I'm not that far off. If he were to get 1st-round draft capital (which he, unfortunately, won't), I would likely have Mims at WR3 in my post-draft rankings. And I strongly agree with Scott's overall take that the NFL seems egregiously low on Mims.

Matt Harmon has also weighed in favorably on Mims, which helps confirm that Mims' efficient per-route production was largely a result of skilled route running.

Matt and Scott's enthusiasm is likely to push Mims up best ball draft boards. But, unfortunately, we're not seeing evidence of Mims moving up NFL Draft boards.

Dane Brugler put out his insanely comprehensive draft guide yesterday, which gives Mims a 3rd-round grade (76th overall). NFL Mock Draft Database lists Mims at 78th overall. Mims seems likely to be a 3rd-round pick, but he isn't generating much 2nd-round buzz right now and could plausibly fall to the 4th round. That is concerning.

Draft capital is crucial for WRs. At running back, we regularly see players emerge from Day 3. But it's rare at WR, even for prospects who look great on paper. So with that in mind, it's tough to go all in on Mims with some potential that he falls to Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

But still, Mims looks like a clear target at WR81 on FFPC and WR80 on Underdog. He's undersized but has the speed to operate as an NFL deep threat, and he excelled downfield at Oklahoma. His draft capital is an open question, but if he ends up going in the 2nd round, he could leapfrog a couple of WRs in my post-draft rookie rankings.

Best Ball Recommendation

Target. And he becomes a priority target if NFL Draft buzz begins to build.

Dynasty Grade

2nd-round rookie pick

Cedric Tillman

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