Former Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims was the No. 59 overall pick in the second round for the New York Jets in the 2020 draft, but he hasn’t become the player the team envisioned — at least not yet.
Rich Cimini of ESPN and Connor Hughes of The Athletic have both predicted Mims will be traded, with Cimini referencing the Chicago Bears‘ trade for N’Keal Harry as a somewhat comparable situation. “They probably wouldn’t get much,” Cimini wrote about what the Jets might ask for in a trade for Mims.
“The New England Patriots got only a 2024 seventh round pick for 2019 first rounder N’Keal Harry. Mims would bring back more than that because he has two years left on his rookie contract, but probably not much more,” Cimini added.
Chicago added former first-rounder Harry in the hopes he’ll fulfill some of his potential, and rumor has it the team could likely add Mims if it had any interest. Paul Esden Jr. of Heavy on Jets spoke to NFL analyst Will Parkinson, who thinks the Bears specifically could nab Mims in a trade for minimal draft capital.
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Bears Could Get Mims for ‘Multiple Day 3 Selections,’ Analyst Says
Mims has slowly fallen behind on the Jets’ depth chart, with receivers Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith passing him up. After showing great potential at Baylor, where he caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards and 12 scores as a senior, the young wideout has yet to break out in the NFL.
In the 11 games he played in last season, Mims caught just eight passes for 133 yards (16.6 yards per catch). It was a downgrade from his rookie season in 2020, when he had 23 catches for 357 yards (15.5 yards per reception) playing with QB Sam Darnold.
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Mims has yet to score a touchdown in the NFL, and he didn’t vibe on the field with New York’s new franchise quarterback Zach Wilson. Perhaps he’d have better chemistry with Bears QB Justin Fields.
“Mims will be showcased a ton during the preseason and will likely net you back something in the fourth through sixth range in the 2023 NFL draft,” Parkinson told Esden. “Teams that would be interested in a deal would lean on their pre-draft grades. The Chicago Bears could use another wide receiver and if he plays well [in the preseason] could get you back multiple day three selections.”
Mims is said to have had a standout opening day at training camp, and if the Bears could get him for a fifth- or sixth-rounder — or perhaps a fifth and a sixth — it might be worth a shot.
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Mims’ Draft Projections Were Well Above Average
Mims, who turns 25 in October, was an intriguing prospect at WR entering the 2020 draft. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and had an impressive 38.5 vertical at the combine and NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein had this to say about him as a prospect:
Mims is a long-striding outside target with excellent height, weight and speed and an insane catch-radius. He’s a touchdown threat anytime he’s near the red zone, with the focus and body control to finesse and finish catches above the rim. He struggles to release and separate from physical press corners, and he doesn’t consistently compete and outwork opponents for positioning on contested catches. If the route work and intensity catch up with his natural athletic ability, he could become a dangerous ‘Z’ receiver in a vertical offense, but the floor might be lower than some teams are comfortable with.
Adding Mims to an already crowded receivers room may seem excessive, but he still has two years on his rookie contract, so he’d come cheap, and it would add even more competition for players like Harry and Byron Pringle.
It’s not likely Chicago would trade for another wide receiver so soon after adding Harry, but if the price is right, Mims could be worth a look for a rebuilding Bears team in need of all the help it can get on offense.