Over the last few weeks, we’ve witnessed the stock of New York Jets second-year receiver Denzel Mims plummet into the depths of hell.
After an intriguing rookie campaign in which Mims only played nine contests but showed some big-play potential (averaging over 15 yards per reception), the arrow was clearly pointing up heading into 2021.
The 23-year old missed most of the first week of voluntary OTAs due to a non-COVID-related illness.
Once he returned Mims was relegated to second-team action behind Keelan Cole, Elijah Moore, and Braxton Berrios.
That lineup card persisted throughout OTAs and during the first day of mandatory minicamp on June 15, the former Baylor product was in a familiar spot running with the twos.
This has led many to question his role in the receiving core and what this all means.
Slow Your Roll People
Before we start making bold proclamations one way or another during the month of June, can we please take a chill pill?
This is a mandatory minicamp for Pete’s sake. Before that, it was voluntary offseason training activities. In the infamous words of Allen Iverson, we’re talking about practice!
Mims may be running with the second team in June, but it’s worth noting that for every player that has dealt with some sort of issue (injury, contract situation, or just didn’t show up on time) they were given an acclimation period.
This situation is much ado about nothing.
We overreact to reps and starters who are written in pencil when it doesn’t matter. Let’s evaluate who is starting and making plays during training camp and when we’re back to playing preseason games in August. Then we can hit the panic button if necessary, until then we all need to take a step back.
Denzel Mims Is the Real Deal
The talent is absolutely undeniable.
Mims is a freak athlete at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds. He possesses an insane wingspan that is paired with a tremendous catch radius.
Unfortunately during the 2020 season led by Adam Gase and Sam Darnold on offense, we didn’t often get to enjoy those rare physical gifts.
That’s why many analysts believe this is going to be the year of the Mims in 2021. He still has that unique set of skills that separates him from the rest of the pack on the depth chart.
If you look at his rookie campaign in 2020 there are a lot of question marks that need answers:
- Mims needs to stay healthy. He only suited up for nine contests because of injury.
- No touchdowns? As weird of a stat as that is, it’s true.
One way this new-look offense can change that factoid as soon as Week 1 vs the Carolina Panthers is with his size.
Mims’ bread and butter should be fade routes for days. He’s at his best in 50-50 jump ball situations where he can just use his imposing physical attributes to come down with the football. Especially in the red zone.
On Tuesday at minicamp, we got a taste of what can be the reality in 2021.
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson dropped back and lofted a nice pass on a fade route that Mims hauled in for the touchdown. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
We shouldn’t throw away Mims’ immense potential because he’s had a few drops and is currently slotted as a backup receiver. As Jamison Crowder said during his media availability, “if it’s done right, everyone can eat” in reference to the large array of talent at wide receiver.
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