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One of the more underrated and interesting decisions from last offseason came in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Without a first-round pick, Marvin Mims Jr. earned the label as the Denver Broncos' top overall selection that year and the first pick of the Sean Payton era in Mile High. 

What made the pick interesting was the fact that Denver already had a solid crop of wide receivers headlined by Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. That proved to be a logjam for Mims during his rookie season as he was limited to just 377 receiving yards and one touchdown through 16 games (seven starts). Fast-forward a year, however, and Jeudy has since been traded to Cleveland, which paves a lane for Mims to take a Year 2 leap. 

"I've said this, and I'll say it again: We were as much responsible for, I don't want to say holding him back, but you're trying to get snaps with Jerry Jeudy, with Courtland," Payton said Thursday when speaking of Mims, via "I think we'll see a lot of growth from Year 1 to Year 2. He's tough. He had a really good play today."

Marvin Mims
DEN • WR • #19
REC YDs377
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That play Payton is referencing was a deep catch the Oklahoma product made on a throw from Jarrett Stidham, which is only fueling the hype around the receiver. Speaking after practice on Thursday, Mims noted that there's a "night and day" difference between where he was at during his rookie season and where he is now.

"Coming into Year 2, knowing what to expect, knowing the routes, knowing what I have to do as a receiver, I feel like this is starting to go a lot smoother for me, especially mentally," Mims said, via the official team website. "… I had the hamstring injury when I got here, so I sat out a lot. Right now, I'm healthy. [I've] felt the best I've felt in a while. And also just knowing the coaches, knowing what they're expecting, knowing the routes -- all that stuff -- and being with the same guys, it's pretty cool."

Mims saw just 33 targets in Denver's offense in 2023, tied for sixth on the team. He also played in only 35.82% of the offensive snaps. Where Mims was able to make an impact most during his rookie campaign came in the return game, which should continue in 2024 on top of what is expected to be an increased role in the offense as potentially the No. 1 target. 

"We know he's a good returner," Payton said. "We felt that was one of the strengths obviously that we saw on tape. But we saw transitional speed, we saw the things that you need to have at that receiver position. So I don't think it was his development as much as, and I don't want to say a crowded room, but just trying to create enough touches for those guys. Now we have a room, and we have a lot of young players. Size is certainly something you see at the receiver position right now. I'm anxious as we go through this process to watch these guys. This first half of these OTAs has gone really good, I mean really good. I told them that. I like the energy. I feel like we're younger, and you kind of feel that at practice."

On top of Sutton and Mims, the Broncos receiver depth chart consists of Josh Reynolds, Tim Patrick, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, and rookie Troy Franklin among others.