Every year there are a handful of unknown, small school players who appear out of nowhere and get drafted into the NFL. Projecting a player like Cam Newton is difficult; projecting a small-school player, like today’s prospect, David Mims, is that much more difficult.

Mims will obviously need time to develop, and won’t put himself in position to start for probably 2 or 3 years. However, physically and athletically, Mims certainly possesses an NFL-caliber skill set. Last year’s Draft consisted of two late-round picks from smaller schools, in Ramon Harewood (6th round, Ravens) and J’Marcus Webb (7th round, Bears). Both had similar physical attributes to Mims, both warranted a late-round draft grade, and both now look like potential long term NFL players as they continue to develop with their respective teams. Mims, with his upside, could be that kind of player.

Scouting reports after the jump.

David Mims
Senior, OT
Virginia Union
6-8, 331

From the National Football Post:

A massive offensive tackle prospect who possesses a long, good-looking frame. Carries his weight well, isn’t fat by any stretch and actually looks a bit thin throughout his upper half. Showcases impressive power at the point of attack in the run game and can absolutely dominate defenders at his level of competition at the point. Is a pretty good bender for his size and is really heavy handed; once he gets his paws on you the battle is over. Now, obviously he gets a bit upright and isn’t real technically sound maintaining leverage and using proper hand placement, but the skill set is most definitely there.

Possesses above-average range for his size in pass protection. Showcases good coordination and balance when asked to mirror and again likes to get his hands on defenders and anchor. Doesn’t exhibit much of a kick-slide and is really raw and upright with his footwork. But talking with sources the guy doesn’t even have an offensive line coach at his school.

Impression: Physically the guy has the size, strength and athleticism to play in the league and is dripping with upside. Is going to take some time, but is an ideal later-round developmental guy who could really catch fire with some time.

From Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Long arms with long well proportioned frame… Sets up reasonably well… Good punch… Solid lateral movement and slide… Good strength… Very solid anchor, can be difficult to move… Solid balance… Reasonably good run blocker… Generates good power… Can control opponent once locked on… Can get movement in the running game… Can get to the second level… Adequate flexibility and body controlling… Mean streak… Needs some coaching but has good upside at Right Tackle.

Negatives: His height makes it difficult for him to maintain good pad level… Gets too upright and defenders can get underneath him… Pumps his arms and looks a little awkward backing off the line… Hands get too high and wide… Kick slide needs work, choppy footwork… Doesn’t redirect especially well.

Mims is without question a long-term developmental pick, but the potential is there for him to become a starting NFL right tackle down the line.