Post bye-week task: Get Marvin Mims Jr. more chances

Nov 6, 2023, 10:13 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 1:39 am

The Broncos’ most electric wide receiver, Marvin Mims Jr., is also the one who sees the fewest snaps among their top five players at the position.

So, how can they change that and give the productive rookie more chances?

“It’s a good question,” Broncos coach Sean Payton said Monday morning on a conference call with Denver-area media.

And it’s a fair question, because Mims’ pace through nine weeks is something of a trinity of explosiveness.

On receptions, Mims’ 22.4-yards-per-catch pace is the best among 201 players with at least 10 receptions heading into Monday night.

On punt returns, Mims is first among the 49 players with at least two returns, notching a league-leading 20.3-yard pace that is a full 1.5 yards better than the next-closest player. And with three runbacks of at least 20 yards on just seven punt returns, he has the best-20-plus percentage in the NFL.

On kickoff returns, Mims ranks second among 45 players with at least two returns this season, boasting a 34.0-yard average.

That sounds like the kind of player who ought to get more opportunities, right?


Consider this for a moment: There are 57 NFL players with at least 500 all-purpose yards — rushing, receiving, kickoff and punt returns combined — so far this season. Mims is the only one of those 57 to get there in fewer than 30 total touches.

Mims averages 21.2 yards per touch. No one else among those 57 players with a minimum of 500 all-purpose yards averages even 18 yards per touch.

If the change happens, it’s going to need to happen on offense.

“How do we get Marvin more touches, and how do we incorporate him more into what we’re doing offensively?” Payton said. “I’m sitting here looking at a notepad with his jersey number on it in front of me. That’s our job as coaches.

And in the head coach’s eye, it’s not a question of whether Mims is good enough.

“We really believe we have a good young talented player,” Payton said. “Obviously, there are other players on the offense that deserve the same type of attention relative to play design.”

It is a zero-sum equation, to be fair. To give Mims opportunities means to take some away from others. That means fewer for a player like Jerry Jeudy, with whom the Broncos renewed vows, so to speak, last week when they opted not to trade him. Or, perhaps, fewer opportunities for Courtland Sutton, who has already matched a career-high in touchdown catches with 6.

Mims played a career-high 28 offensive snaps last week — with Brandon Johnson’s hamstring injury likely having something to do with that. Nevertheless, Mims still ranks behind Sutton, Jeudy, Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey in offensive snaps.

“We’re going to work our tails off to move that needle where he’s getting opportunities, not only in the passing game,” Mims said. “He just does a lot of things well, and he’s really good with the ball in his hands.”

Now it’s just a matter of finding more ways to do it.


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Post bye-week task: Get Marvin Mims Jr. more chances