Maligned Jets Draft Pick Dominates First Day of Practices

Jets Training Camp

Getty The Atlantic Health New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Day one of practices at New York Jets training camp is officially in the books and one player stole the headlines — Denzel Mims.

The polarizing wide receiver is entering year three of his rookie contract following a second-round selection in 2020 and there has been an ongoing discussion all offseason on whether or not the franchise should attempt to trade him. The reason for that chatter is an unproductive 490 receiving yards off 31 catches over his first two seasons and a disastrous eight for 133 during his first campaign in Mike LaFleur’s offense.

Having said that, the Jets OC noted that Mims “is in the best physical shape he has ever seen him” a month and a half ago during minicamp and the Baylor product added some fuel to the fire on July 27.

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Mims Wins the Day

Although tight end Tyler Conklin recorded the first catch of training camp — a check-down from Zach Wilson — Mims had the first catch by a wide receiver, and it was a nice one by all accounts.

After that leaping grab from backup quarterback Joe Flacco, Mims wasn’t satisfied. He quickly followed it with another snag off a skinny post from Mike White and Jets X-Factor co-founder Robby Sabo voiced that “Mims is attacking the ball” this afternoon.

He detailed further: “Two grabs [thus] far (Flacco, White) vs. zone. Interestingly, it’s the ball-in-air mindset that jumps off the chart early on.”

Following a third Mims catch, New York Post beat reporter Brian Costello jokingly labeled this the “#summerofMims” and early on, it has been.

That highlight-reel gainer may have been his best of the day. Connor Hughes described it as “an absurd catch” that ripped the ball away from cornerback Isaiah Dunn “deep down [the] middle of [the] field.” He punctuated the grab with the assessment that “Mims is on fire.”

Here was Sabo’s take on the same reception: “Another impressive Mims play. Hands catch with a defender draped on inside shoulder. All over him. Great placement by Mike White. A 9.5 of 10 catch difficulty grab by No. 11.”

At this point, Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania announced that the “Mims resurgence bandwagon is full steam ahead,” adding that fans should “hop on now while there’s still room.”

Mims closed out practice with one more catch and Hughes summed up his stellar performance: “I had WR Denzel Mims with four catches today on five targets. Three of the four were wildly impressive. The fourth was a short gainer in the flat. One pass was broken up.”

He later confirmed to a fan during a post-practice Q&A that Mims was the best Jets player on July 27.

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Notes From Day 1 of Camp

Although Mims earned the “shining star” from Associated Press reporter Dennis Waszak Jr., Wilson and cornerback D.J. Reed Jr. earned a gold star as well.

According to Hughes, Wilson “went 7 of 11 passing on the first day of training camp. Two of those incompletions were drops. One was an interception. Struggled most in [the] red zone. Was very good outside of that — as was most of the offense.”

That one INT was a diving play in the end zone by Reed — which explains his star. The pass had been intended for rookie WR Calvin Jackson Jr.

The other big news was Mekhi Becton’s official switch to right tackle with the return of George Fant on the blindside. Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed this swap after the practice was over.

Edge rushers John Franklin-Myers and Jacob Martin also registered unofficial non-contact sacks, and both kickers — Eddy Pineiro and Greg Zuerlein — went four-for-four to start off the summer competition, a welcomed change after last year.

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