The New York Jets have upgraded nearly every unit of their team this offseason, but the one creating the most buzz is a player that was already on the roster.
Wide receiver Denzel Mims is heading into his second professional season in 2021 and the arrow is clearly pointing up.
In a recent NFL article, Mims was listed as a player to watch in “new coordinator Mike LaFleur’s offense” after showing a ton of promise in year No. 1.
Every analyst seems infatuated with either the free-agent addition of Corey Davis, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, or the sexy new draftee Elijah Moore out of Ole Miss at wide receiver.
While both of those players are tantalizing the wideout that may have the highest ceiling is Mims heading into year two.
Glimpses of His Superstar Potential
The overall numbers are underwhelming: 23 receptions for 357 yards and he failed to find the endzone during his rookie campaign.
Although you should factor in a few key details when evaluating his performance:
- Sam Darnold was the No. 33 ranked quarterback in the NFL. He was the lowest-rated quarterback that met the minimum playing time requirements, per ESPN.
- The Jets overall were the last-ranked offense in total yards per game by a substantial margin. Specifically, they were the 31st ranked passing offense last season.
That doesn’t necessarily provide a stable environment for young wideouts to blossom.
Despite his circumstances, Mims made the most of his limited opportunities. The former Baylor product averaged 15.5 yards per reception which puts him right outside the top-10 in the NFL this past season.
Future No. 1 Wide Receiver?
Mims certainly has the frame for it at 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds, but right now he isn’t one and that’s okay.
In the NFL you can get away without having a true bonafide No. 1 wide receiver if you have depth and creativity on offense.
Fortunately, the Jets have both heading into 2021.
They have an interesting mix of talent, youth, and versatility on the depth chart with guys like Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, Davis, Moore, among others.
While Mims may not be that guy yet, he has all the tools to become the lead dog eventually for Gang Green:
- Tremendous catch radius
- Dominant in 50-50 catch opportunities
- Physical specimen
He’s not quite as big as Brandon Marshall (whether height or weight-wise), but that’s the dream ceiling for what Mims can be in the NFL.
What he lacks in size and weight in a Marshall comp, he more than makes up for it with elite speed. The former six-time Pro Bowler ran a pedestrian 4.54 40 yard dash. While Mims ran an electric 4.38 at the NFL Combine.
For some reason, the former Baylor product has flown completely under the radar this offseason.
The only knock against him heading into his second season is his durability. Mims battled some hamstring issues that held him out for basically the entire first half of the 2020 season.
During his run in college, Mims played through injuries and was productive on the football field. In the last three years at Baylor, the 23-year old played in 37 games and totaled 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns.
In what is expected to be a stable environment with a slew of weapons around him, it’s finally time for Mims to realize his full potential in a green and white uniform.