Trade Details: Lions Acquire WR Denzel Mims in No-Risk Move

Denzel Mims

Getty There was no risk in the Detroit Lions trading for wide receiver Denzel Mims.

Just about every NFL trade possesses some kind of risk for the teams involved. Generally, that’s the cost of doing business.

But that cliché won’t apply to the acquisition of wide receiver Denzel Mims for the Detroit Lions.

On July 20, a collection of NFL Network reporters revealed more details behind the trade compensation the Lions offered to land Mims from the New York Jets. Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported that the Lions are sending a conditional sixth-round draft pick in the 2025 NFL draft to the Jets for Mims and a 2025 seventh-round choice.

Essentially, the Lions had to swap late Day 3 selections with the Jets for Mims.

However, Tom Pelissero reported there is also a condition in the trade that if Mims doesn’t make the Lions’ 53-man roster out of training camp, the Jets will not receive any compensation.

Swapping late Day 3 picks for Mims offered very little risk. But the safety net of not even having to do that if Mims doesn’t impress the Lions during camp means Mims arrives with zero risk for Detroit.

SNY TV’s Connor Hughes was the first to report, on July 19, that the Lions had successfully traded for Mims.

Lions Acquire Denzel Mims in Trade Featuring Day 3 Draft Pick Swap

The Jets drafted Mims in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. He caught 23 passes for 357 yards as a rookie. But, he wasn’t able to match those modest totals over the past two years combined.

When Robert Saleh became the Jets’ head coach in 2021, Mims saw his playing time decline significantly. As a rookie, he played 82% of the team’s offensive snaps when he was active. Mims’ snap percentage on offense (in games where he dressed) dropped to 40% in 2021.

During 2022, Mims played a career-low 270 offensive snaps. He posted 11 receptions for 186 yards in 10 contests. Mims was a healthy scratch for the first six weeks last season.

Before the season, the receiver requested the Jets trade him on August 25, 2022. CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani reported the Carolina Panthers called the Jets in attempt to acquire Mims, but he remained in New York for 2022.

“Denzel tried in good faith, but it’s clear he does not have a future with the Jets,” Mims’ agent, Ron Slavin, wrote in a public statement in August 2022. “Denzel vowed to come back better than ever this season and worked extremely hard in the offseason to make that happen.

“Still, he has been given no opportunities with the starting offense to get in a groove with them.”

What Mims Could Provide for the Lions

The Lions will offer Mims a chance at a fresh start as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. In return, Mims could bolster Detroit’s receiving core.

Detroit will be without second-year wideout Jameson Williams for the first six games because of a suspension due to gambling violations. For that reason, the Lions have been a trendy rumor-mill pick for wide receivers this summer.

The perfect scenario for the Lions, though, was the team adding receiver depth without acquiring a weapon that would threaten Williams’ development. That’s what the Lions likely have in Mims.

Mims’ speed also makes him similar in style to Williams. Mims has averaged 16.1 yards per catch in his three-year career.

If he makes the team, Mims will likely be Detroit’s best deep-threat receiver until Williams returns.

Because of zero risk and the potential upside the 2020 second-round receiver presents,’s John Maakaron, of All Lions, gave the Lions an A-plus grade for acquiring Mims.

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