KETK – A couple more young men from our Piney Woods joined the ever-growing fraternity of East Texans in the NFL Friday.
Daingerfield alum and Baylor receiver Denzel Mims heard his name called with the 59th overall selection as he becomes the New York Jets second round draft pick.
The big target wide-out will now catch passes from Sam Darnold, which many believe could be a great combination for that franchise.
Mims terrorized Big 12 defenses in 2019. He was a first team all-conference selection with 66 catches for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In round three, Nacogdoches high school saw its first NFL draft pick since 2001 as Texas Longhorn safety Brandon Jones was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 70th overall pick.
Jones has been touted by his football intelligence, how well he knows and disects offenses, and how willing he is to do his homework.
He also led the Longhorns with 86 tackles as a senior, 64 of those being solo.
Baylor Press Release Below
By: Rachel Caton
WACO, Texas – Wide receiver Denzel Mims was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, as the 59th pick overall, it was announced Friday evening on day two of the draft.
Mims is the highest-drafted Bear since Corey Coleman was taken in the first round as the 15th overall pick in 2016. Overall, he is the 16th wide receiver drafted out of Baylor since 1970 and the first since Coleman in 2016.
The Daingerfield, Texas, native is the seventh Bear to be drafted by the Jets all-time and the first since quarterback Bryce Petty was taken in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. Mims is the highest drafted BU player by the Jets and the first of his position to be drafted to New York out of Waco.
Although Mims had a breakout year in 2019, he has consistently produced the past three seasons, as he was the only player in FBS with eight or more touchdowns in each of the last three seasons, with 12 in 2019 and eight apiece in 2018 and 2017, respectively. As a senior in 2019, Mims starting all 14 games, finishing with 1,020 yards receiving on 66 receptions and 12 touchdowns as he earned First Team All-Big 12 honors by a vote of the league’s coaches and was named to the Postseason All-Texas Team by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. His 12 touchdowns on the year ranked tied for fifth-most in Baylor single-season history and his 66 receptions tied for 10th on the single-season list. He had four 100+ receiving yard performances on the year, including three-straight 100+ yard performances vs. UTSA, at Rice and vs. Iowa State. He also had four multi-touchdown performances on the year, including a career-high three touchdowns in a victory over UTSA.
For his career, Mims is found throughout the BU record book, finishing sixth on Baylor’s career receiving yards list with 2,925 yards, ranking third with 28 receiving touchdowns and fifth with 186 career receptions. He boasted two 1,000+ receiving yard seasons in his career, finishing with 1,020 in 2020 and 1,087 as a sophomore in 2017, making him only the third Bear in program history to complete the feat twice. He finished with 11-career 100+ yard receiving performances and was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list three times (2017-2019).
Texas Press Release Below
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas defensive back Brandon Jones was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 70th overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday.
“It’s a dream come true for sure,” Jones said. “I can’t put it into words how grateful I am, not only for the Dolphins organization for taking a chance on me, but for The University of Texas for molding me and making me the player I am today. Shout out to Coach Herman, Coach Naivar, Yancy McKnight, all those guys in the facility, Kevin Washington for really reminding me of not only being a football player, but the man I am today. Of course, most importantly, my family, I owe them everything and love them so much.”
With Jones’ selection, it marks the seventh time in the last 11 NFL Drafts that a Texas defensive back has been picked. He is also the 25th Longhorn DB to be selected in the last 30 NFL Drafts. Jones is the fifth Longhorn selected by the Miami Dolphins all time (Kheeston Randall, 2012; Rod Wright, 2006; John Stuart, 1986; Glenn Blackwood, 1979).
“In Brandon, they’re getting a remarkable young man who has a heart of gold and is very smart and instinctual,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said. “He is the best open-field tackler that I’ve ever coached. He gets them on the ground one way or another. He can come downhill and hit you in the run game, but can also roam center field and is extremely fast. I think in one play a couple years ago, we tracked him right at 23 miles-per-hour on a play where he knocked the running back out of bounds on a 4th & Goal from the 2-yard line. He’s very versatile at safety. He can play center field and can play in the box. He’s physical and will hit you. He’s one of our captains, and is a great leader.
“He’s a consummate pro. He studies his craft and studies not just himself and techniques, he studies the great ones in the NFL and the great ones in college, as well, some of his peers. He’s always studying and always trying to make himself better. He really enjoys that part of the game – the scheme and X’s and O’s part of the game.”
Jones played in 46 career games with 35 starts during his career on the Forty Acres. He recorded 233 tackles (175 solo), 14 tackles for loss, defended 11 passes and intercepted four as a Longhorn. Jones was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and a watch list candidate for both the Lott IMPACT and Bronko Nagurski trophies entering 2019. During the 2019 season, he went on to become a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and was a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Man of the Year Award, leading the Longhorns with 86 tackles, including 64 solo stops. Jones also recorded 70 tackles as a junior in 2018, making him the first Longhorn to post consecutive 70-tackle seasons since Steve Edmond did so from 2012-14.
The Nacogdoches, Texas native was a Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll member in the spring of 2019 and graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in sports management and a minor in education.
On the moment:
“I literally had just gone upstairs to use the restroom, and I was halfway up the staircase. I didn’t know who was on the board at the time and I got a call from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I answered it and talked to the coach and the GM, and I was legit speechless. I was shocked. Everybody downstairs thought it was a prank call. They thought I went upstairs and prank called myself. They didn’t believe I was on the phone. I told them it was the Dolphins and everyone froze and then got hyped and started screaming, so I could barely hear. It was an experience I’ll remember forever.”
On the Miami Dolphins:
“I know it’s going to be really fun. They’re an organization that’s building, and it’s going to be really exciting to be around those guys. Everybody on that team has the same goals and same dreams and aspirations that I have, so I thought it was a really great fit for me. I definitely know the DB room is going to be competitive and that those guys will take me under their wing. I’m really excited to learn and take in as much as I can, and hopefully, whether it’s on defense or special teams, just earn my way on the field as soon as possible.”
On having been to the city of Miami:
“I haven’t. For the Under Armour game I went to Florida, but I haven’t been to Miami before. I know it’s awesome and the weather will be amazing. I’m excited for sure. I really don’t know what to expect, but I’m just excited to get started.”
On former teammates he’s talked to:
“DeShon (Elliott) literally drove over as soon as he saw me get drafted. Kenny Vaccaro texted me, Quandre Diggs texted me, a whole bunch of guys have. I honestly haven’t gotten a chance to look through all my text messages. I was getting FaceTime after FaceTime while I was on my Zoom meeting, so I definitely have to get back with those guys. I think the whole Texas family has been great. I saw Kris Boyd had a video and shouted me out, you just see the love and tradition. With Texas Football, it’s something that lasts for a lifetime and everybody is so supportive.”
On having former Longhorns to lean on as he enters the league:
“It’s awesome. Just having guys with experience and getting a head start and jump into things when it comes to learning the ins and outs of the NFL and how it is – how to dress, what I need to take in and what’s going to get me on the field the quickest.”