Eagles

2020 NFL Draft prospect Denzel Mims had 'bad experience' his first time in Philly

2020 NFL Draft prospect Denzel Mims had 'bad experience' his first time in Philly

The weeks leading up to the NFL Draft are normally full of empty answers and platitudes as players just want to make it to draft night unscathed.

Which is why Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims' description of his first visit to Philadelphia was so... eye-catching? Head-turning? Just plain unexpected?

Mims, appearing on the Inside The Birds podcast earlier this month, was asked about his experience with Philadelphia, both the Eagles' organization and the city itself.

I expected Mims to blandly say he had a good time during his visit, but his answer veered into very strange territory:

I've been to Philadelphia one time, and it was last summer, before the season. I went with a couple teammates, and my head coach. We went up there, and we just spent a lot of time together. 

The experience I had, I was very scared. I wasn't familiar with the whole city, and it was a lot going on. You see a lot of people that look scary. I'm not a part of that, I don't like that. So I mean, I had a bad experience, you could say, going up there for the first time. But I feel like if I just go there more, and I just get familiar with it, I could have a great time.

I, uh... what?

Look, Mims is from the small town of Daingerfield, Texas, which had a population of 2,413 in 2017. So a trip to Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the country, was probably jarring.

But the "a lot of people that look scary" line threw me for a loop. What does that mean? Where in the world did Matt Rhule, then the Baylor head coach and now the Carolina Panthers head coach, take him?

Mims is expected to be taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft this week. The Eagles, a wide receiver-needy team, have been linked to him on more than one occassion, and Mims at least said that his experience with the Eagles was pleasant and rewarding:

As far as the coaching staff, I feel like they're great, they're unbelievable, and I feel like they're kind of the same coaching staff that I had at Baylor. They're very loving, cares about you, and just want the best for you. So I feel like if I go there, it'd be a great fit for me, because I feel like I'm home with them.

That's encouraging.

Mims caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior year with Baylor, and has earned rave reviews from some draft analysts.

But you can bet that if the Eagles decide to draft Mims, you're going to hear a lot about these comments, especially in a city where we like to remind wide receivers that we're watching.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro get together after the NFL’s opt-out period is over. 

The Eagles had just one player opt out of the 2020 season. Exploring more questions about having a season and Doug Pederson’s role as a virtual coach. 

Is it really a good year to be an undrafted free agent? Plus, takeaways from interviews with Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Fletcher Cox. 

  • (0:29) — Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out.
  • (12:23) — Doug Pederson is still leading the team... virtually.
  • (18:06) — Good year for undrafted free agents?
  • (25:31) — Takeaways from zoom interviews with Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, and Fletcher Cox.
  • (42:48) — Shady signs with Tampa Bay.

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Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out

Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out

The NFL’s opt-out deadline passed Thursday afternoon with no word of any additional Eagles electing to skip the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.

As of 4 p.m. EST, only wide receiver Marquis Goodwin had announced he’s opting out. 

The Eagles acquired Goodwin in a draft-day trade with the 49ers, and while he wasn’t expected to be a starter his 140 career receptions are second-most among the Eagles’ healthy receivers.

League-wide, it appears 66 players opted out. 

With most teams carrying 80 players on the roster, that represents about 2 1/2 percent of NFL players.

In the NFC East, the Giants and Cowboys lost three apiece and Washington lost two. 

Teams losing the most players are the Patriots [8], Browns [5] and the Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions and Raiders [3 each].

Three teams appear to have no opt-outs: The Chargers, Falcons and Steelers. The Eagles are among nine teams to lose one player. Ten teams had two opt-outs.

Players who opt out who have been determined by the NFL to be at risk because of a specific pre-existing condition receive a $350,000 stipend from the league and receive a year of pension credit toward free agency and benefits. 

Those who are considered not at risk receive $150,000 that is essentially an advance on their 2021 salary and they do not accrue a year of pension credit. If players in this category don’t make a roster next year, they must return the money.

Goodwin, who is considered not at risk, had 962 yards for the 49ers in 2017 but has just 35 catches for 581 yards the last two years. 

Several Eagles starters who were made available to the Philly media over the past week said they talked about opting out with family members before electing not to.

I think everyone in the back of their mind was wondering, ‘What does this look like for me safety-wise, what does this look like for my family safety-wise?’ Carson Wentz said. “And I was no different. I think, definitely, the health and safety of my family definitely is different than I think a lot of guys that are maybe single and don’t have wives or kids and those things, and you definitely have to take all those factors in. You never know how this is going to fully unfold, but I feel safe here and it was something that my wife and I talked a lot about and prayed a lot about, and we feel good with our decision but at the same time completely respect the guys that did decide to opt out for personal reasons, family reasons, health reasons. Like Marquis Goodwin, I fully respect his decision. Obviously I’m bummed I’m not going to be able to play with him but fully respect those guys’ decisions.

Rodney McLeod echoed Wentz: “It was a conversation I had with my wife, but I think looking at all the protocols that were put into place here we felt confident that this is probably one of the safer environments you could be in between these walls. Marquis Goodwin had to do what was best for his family and I understand that and we support him fully for that decision.”

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More on the Eagles