NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: WR Denzel Mims

NY Jets (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets will be expecting a big year from second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims.

The NY Jets went into the 2020 offseason knowing that they needed to upgrade the wide receiver position in a big way. And no player will be counted on to bring more change at the position than Denzel Mims.

The Jets selected Mims with their second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft following a trade down that saw them drop all the way to pick No. 59. While many fans likely wanted Mims with the Jets’ original pick, they managed to scoop him up towards the bottom of the second round anyway.

While certainly a work in progress, Mims has all the physical tools needed to be a superstar receiver in the NFL. He’ll just need some development to truly reach his ceiling.

And he should be given every opportunity to receive playing time early in a very thin Jets’ receiver corps. Mims will likely be a day one starter on the outside when the Jets open up their season (hopefully) come this September.

But how could he ensure that his rookie season goes according to plan? What does Denzel Mims need to do to solidify a successful rookie campaign?

Let’s take a look.

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Optimistic stats projection

  • 56 receptions, 850 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns, 15.2 yards per reception

*All optimistic stats projections are based on a 16-game output because….optimism*

As long as Mims proves that he’s ready for a starting job, he should see plenty of targets come his way in 2020. In fact, only two teams will enter the season with more vacated targets (targets received in 2019 by players no longer on the team) than the Jets.

That means that there will be an abundance of targets up for grabs and the Jets would like nothing more than for Mims to be the guy to secure the majority of them.

Obviously, it’s hard to expect Mims to have Pro-Bowl-caliber season in his first year even if everything went according to plan. Last year only three rookie wideouts topped 800 yards with just A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans reaching the 1,000-yard mark.

But even in a lackluster offense, Mims has the talent to top 800 yards.

Moreover, even in an offense that focuses more on underneath patterns, Mims’ ability to stretch the field and serve as a downfield threat will be too much to ignore. And for that reason, he could end up averaging over 15.0 yards per reception by the end of the year.

We give him an extra boost with eight touchdowns due to his ability to serve as a big-bodied red-zone target. It’s hard to expect a better season from Mims than this in 2020.

How Denzel Mims can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

Of course, achieving those numbers could prove difficult for the former first-team All-Big 12 selection. Mims will need a lot of things to go right in 2020 in order for him to truly shine at that level.

In all honesty, it’s difficult to have imagined a worse situation for Mims early in his career. That’s not being negative, that’s being objective.

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Mims is a developmental receiver who is supremely talented but still very rough around the edges. Ideally, he would have gone to an organization with an accomplished coaching staff and established receiving corps so that he could sit back and develop for a year or two.

That’s essentially the opposite of his situation with the Jets.

Mims will immediately be thrust into action following an offseason where his development has already been limited by the ongoing worldwide pandemic. On top of that, his coaching staff is arguably the least reputable in the entire NFL.

This isn’t to say that he can’t or won’t be successful. But it is to say that his situation doesn’t look pretty on paper.

But we’re being optimists here. If Mims can prove that he’s more NFL-ready than expected, then he may be able to overcome his environment.

That will involve becoming a more polished route-runner and picking up on Adam Gase’s complex (yes, I mean that in all seriousness) offensive scheme. That’s a difficult task for a player in his situation, but it’s not impossible.

On top of that, he must strive to become a more consistent ball-catcher and attack the football more than he already does. Mims has a tendency to catch with his body, but he’s shown the hand strength to be able to go up and get it. He needs to do that more often.

Mims flashes, but consistency has never been his forte.

However, if he could improve upon his weaknesses in spit of his situation there’s no reason why Mims can’t be one of the best wide receivers to come out of an incredibly strong 2020 NFL Draft class.

NY Jets: 3 positions that were upgraded in the offseason. Next

Mims can thrive in 2020, but his continued development as a receiver remains critical.