NFL Draft: Broncos move up to draft a wide receiver with Sean Payton's first pick

Sean Payton’s first draft pick as the head coach of the Denver Broncos was a wide receiver.

Denver traded up to No. 63 to choose Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims with the final pick of the second round on Friday night. The Broncos moved up from No. 68 via a trade with the Detroit Lions after Detroit had traded back eight spots to No. 63 in a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Broncos originally didn’t have picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft because of the trade they made to land Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks ahead of the 2022 season. The Seahawks used the No. 5 pick they got from Denver to select Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon and then took Auburn’s Derick Hall with what would have been Denver’s second-round pick.

Mims is the fifth pass catcher selected by Denver in the past six drafts. The franchise selected Courtland Sutton in the second round in 2018, tight end Noah Fant (now in Seattle as part of the Wilson trade) in the first round in 2019 and then used its first two picks of the 2020 draft to take wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 26: Wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. #17 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs for a touchdown during the first half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Marvin Mims averaged over 20 yards a catch in 2022. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

The pick of Mims will do little to quell any rumors that the new Broncos coaching staff is looking to move on from one or more of the receivers currently on the roster. Both Jeudy and Sutton have been mentioned as possible trade candidates this offseason.

Mims was one of the best deep threats in college football in his college career. He had 123 catches for 2,398 yards and 20 TDs over three seasons with the Sooners. He averaged over 20 yards a catch in each of his final two seasons at OU and had 54 catches for 1,083 yards and six scores as a junior in 2022.

He’ll likely occupy a vertical role in the Broncos’ offense right away as a deep shot target for Wilson.

Four picks after selecting Mims, Denver used a third-round pick on Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders.