NY Jets: 3 interesting things to know about new WR Denzel Mims
By Justin Fried
NY Jets second-round pick Denzel Mims has quite an interesting background.
The NY Jets went into the offseason with a glaring hole at the wide receiver position and no player will be asked to fill that hole more for the foreseeable future than Denzel Mims.
Mims was drafted with the 59th overall pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and the Jets are obviously expecting big things from the former Baylor standout.
While he may be a little rough around the edges, his blend of size, speed, and athleticism gives him one of the most intriguing skillsets of any receiver prospect to come out in the past five years.
And it’s that physical prowess that made the Jets take notice.
We’ve all read the stories of Mims’ talents on the gridiron. His collegiate honors, his strengths and weaknesses, and even his NFL projection have been discussed ad nauseam.
But what about Mims off the field? What’s his background like? What are some captivating factoids about Mims as a person?
Today, we attempt to take a look at the man behind the Jets’ second-round pick. We take a look at three interesting things about Denzel Mims.
Next: 3. Football runs in his family
3. NY Jets’ wide receiver Denzel Mims comes from a football family
Given his incredible athletic ability, it isn’t surprising to learn than Mims isn’t the first player in his family to play college football or even try his hand in the NFL. In fact, the 22-year-old boasts an incredible family lineage of football players.
For starters, three of his brothers played football up to the high school level. His cousin, David Mims II, played college ball at Texas State as a cornerback and had a brief stint in training camp with the Atlanta Falcons.
David’s father played college football at Baylor as well and also spent two years with the Falcons before being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 expansion draft.
Moreover, another one of Mims’ cousins, Keyarris Garrett, played football at Tulsa before spending a couple of seasons in training camp and on the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers. He’s since bounced around in the AAF, XFL, and is currently playing in the CFL.
Garrett actually put together a more impressive college resume than his cousin — albeit playing lesser competition — leading the FBS in receiving yards back in 2015.
It’s clear that Mims isn’t just some aberration in his family. Football is in his genes, in his blood. And he has a chance to be the most successful member of his athletically-gifted family.
He should be given every chance to continue his family’s legacy and start his own with the Jets.
Next: 2. He's not exactly a city person
2. NY Jets’ wide receiver Denzel Mims isn’t exactly used to city life
Mims grew up in the small town of Daingerfield, Texas which has a population of just over 2,400 people. Not the tiniest town out there, but certainly not a place you’d compare to the bigger cities around the country.
And when talking to the Philadelphia media in the months leading up to the draft, Mims recounted his first time visiting a big city. Safe to say it wasn’t an experience he’ll remember fondly.
“I’ve been to Philadelphia one time, and it was last summer, before the season. I went with a couple teammates, and my head coach. We went up there, and we just spent a lot of time together.
The experience I had, I was very scared. I wasn’t familiar with the whole city, and it was a lot going on. You see a lot of people that look scary. I’m not a part of that, I don’t like that. So I mean, I had a bad experience, you could say, going up there for the first time. But I feel like if I just go there more, and I just get familiar with it, I could have a great time.”
Mims admitted to being “scared” and refers to the fact that there were “a lot of people that look scary.” City life certainly isn’t for everyone and it’s absolutely a vastly different experience than living in a smaller city in Texas.
But if he thinks Philaldpehia is big, I could only imagine what his thoughts are going to be on New York City.
Now with the Jets, Mims will be fully entrenched in the city lifestyle — one that he likely isn’t too familiar with. Of course, it’s not as if this is a cause for concern. But it should be somewhat of a culture shock for the young receiver at first.
Philadelphia may be large, but Mims might be in for a rude awakening the first time he visits New York.
Next: 1. He was a four-sport athlete
1. NY Jets’ wide receiver was once a four-sport athlete
At this point, we’re all very much aware of Mims’ incredible physical traits. The Baylor wideout tore up the NFL Combine this year putting together perhaps the best combined performance of anyone at the event.
Mims posted the fastest three-cone drill among receivers, the third-fastest 40-yard dash, and placed top-10 in both the vertical jump and broad jump. Simply put, there are few athletes in the game that can match his physical talent.
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And with that in mind, it isn’t surprising to learn that Mims didn’t limit himself to only football. As with most young athletes, Mims participated in multiple sports growing up.
But he wasn’t just a two-sport athlete. He wasn’t even a three-sport athlete. Instead, Mims excelled at four sports throughout his youth career.
The Texas native was actually a standout baseball player until an arm injury forced him to give it up in his freshman year of high school. That same injury was the catalyst to move him from quarterback — a position he had played all throughout his young career — to wide receiver.
It’s safe to say that’s not a decision he likely regrets.
But aside from baseball and football, Mims was a two-time all-district recipient in basketball and he also shined as a sprinter on his track team, winning the 2015 Class 3A 200-meter state championship (21.30) while setting a personal-best in the 100-meters (10.88).
Mims truly did it all in high school, but now a full-time receiver in the NFL, the hope is that he will add to his growing list of accomplishments with some football accolades.
The Jets love when their players have versatility and it’s hard to get any more versatile than a former four-sport star.