2023 NFL Draft Profile: Fresno State RB Jordan Mims
The long-time Bulldogs running back has a do-it-all profile which could entice teams to give him a call in this year’s NFL Draft.
A Swiss army knife any offense could use.
Fresno State football’s revival over the past six years has come in large part thanks to a strong passing game, but that facet of the offense would not have been nearly as effective without a strong running attack first headlined by Jordan Mims.
Hailing from East Palo Alto, California, Mims committed to Fresno State in 2017 and got busy from the get-go as a true freshman, making three starts while appearing in all 14 contests that year. He led the team in rushing as the Bulldogs made an appearance in the Mountain West championship, and he made five more starts in 2018 while sharing the backfield with Ronnie Rivers before a late-season injury eventually forced him to redshirt in 2019.
Though it took time for Mims to regain his form, he appeared in all six games during the shortened 2020 campaign, led the team in rushing touchdowns in 2021 and, when Rivers moved on to the NFL, landed on the first-team all-Mountain West offense by scoring 19 total touchdowns, a key cog in the Bulldogs’ championship run.
After a storybook finish to his collegiate career, Mims looks to follow Fresno State runners like Rivers and Ryan Mathews before him to carve out a career in the pros.
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler)
Height – 5′ and 10 1/2″
Weight – 206 pounds
40-yard time – 4.65 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.65 seconds
Arm length – 31″
Hand size – 9 3/8″
Wingspan – 76″
Vertical jump – 30″
Broad jump – 9′ and 5″ (or 113″)
Shuttle time – 4.50 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.50 seconds
Bench press – 18 reps
Mims was always one of the busiest pass catchers in the Mountain West at the running back position and he rarely let the Bulldogs offense down in that regard. Pro Football Focus notes that he had a career drop rate of only 7.1%, but it’s worth noting he didn’t drop a single one of his 27 targets last year. Even better, he’s capable of doing a little bit of damage after the catch, as well, averaging 11.2 YAC per reception over his five seasons.
Inevitably, though, you want a running back who can run and Mims does that pretty well, too. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein points out that Mims hasn’t fumbled on a rushing attempt since 2017 and, additionally, he and others like Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline and NFL Draft Buzz all count above-average vision at the line of scrimmage among his assets. That he also contributed as a kick returner at times is an added bonus. He may not be a master at any one facet of the game, but Mims is a jack of all trades.
Because speed isn’t Mims’s calling card, front offices may feel lukewarm about selecting him against other late-round options. In terms of Football Outsiders’ Speed Score metric, he grades out at 88.1 and would have ranked next to last among those who ran at this year’s NFL Combine.
He’ll also need to work on building strength for power running situations and pass blocking if he wants to avoid being typecast as a third-down back. Per PFF, among 19 Mountain West running backs with at least 88 snaps, Mims ranked 18th with just 2.35 yards after contact per carry.
Mims is never going to be the flashiest playmaker on the field, but he knows what to do when the ball is in his hands and is more than capable of creating explosive plays with his patience and game quickness. While most mock drafts don’t have him getting selected, I do think he’ll sneak into the back end of the draft as a seventh-round pick.