ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the months since becoming the Broncos' top selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. has focused on translating his success as both a receiver and a punt returner at Oklahoma to the NFL level. In the 2022 season, Mims averaged 20.1 yards per catch and scored six receiving touchdowns, while returning 10 punts for 160 yards.
While learning an NFL offense and honing the nuances of the return game might be daunting to most rookies, Mims wouldn't have it any other way.
"[It's] not difficult at all," Mims said after Thursday's training camp practice. "I've done it since high school, did it a lot in college, so it's not that much different, and it's what I expected of myself. It's just another job, just more things stacked on each other. [I'm] just taking it all in and trying to do my best with it."
On top of those tasks, Mims has been working to get back to full health after missing training camp time with a hamstring injury. The Broncos also held Mims out of their preseason opener, but Head Coach Sean Payton revealed on Thursday that Mims will play against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. The rookie receiver is thrilled for the opportunity to take his first game reps at the NFL level.
"I'm really excited to be able to go out with the guys," Mims said. "Sitting on the sidelines watching last week, I got a little bit of a taste in my mouth of it, but being out there with them, [after] all this practicing with them, I'm looking forward to it."
Mims could play a crucial role in this year's receivers group, which includes established big-play threats in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy but will also be without Tim Patrick. Mims said he talks often with Sutton, Jeudy and the other receivers about different looks and coverages, which has helped expedite his learning curve.
"[I'm] lot more comfortable," Mims said. "[I'm] adjusting to the speed of the game. Everyone out there is smart — it's a whole other ball game in college. So just adjusting to the little things, getting in touch with the playbook, hearing it in the huddle, getting out, getting set, seeing your keys, that's something I've grown on the past week and a half."
The Oklahoma product also addressed one of the most surreal parts of his first training camp: catching passes from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Mims said it was strange to catch passes from a player with so much NFL experience, and he has learned how to adjust to Wilson's mobility and improvisation capabilities.
"It's a big feel thing, especially on a scramble drill." Mims said of off-schedule plays. "Just playing off each other, that's kind of what it is. If I didn't do that and I did something else, I mean, we talk about it, 'Hey, try and do this on this look.' … If you ask a football player, any receiver, they'll tell you scramble drill is a huge feel [thing]."