The NY Jets are optimistic that Denzel Mims will make his NFL debut on Sunday.
In case you forgot, Mims was selected with the 59th overall pick after Jets general manager Joe Douglas traded back 11 spots with the Seattle Seahawks to secure both Mims and an additional third-round pick in what many deemed as a masterful trade by Douglas.
Douglas turned that additional third-round pick into two fourth-round picks and used them to draft quarterback James Morgan and offensive lineman Cameron Clark — both have yet to see the field for a single snap this season.
Third-round safety Ashtyn Davis and fourth-round running back La’Mical Perine continue to be held back by the coaching staff, while third-round pass-rusher Jabari Zuniga and fifth-round cornerback Bryce Hall have been injured and still have yet to make their NFL debuts.
With Mims virtually missing all of training camp plus six weeks of the regular season, Jets fans should be eager to see what the former Baylor wideout is capable of.
Despite missing so much valuable practice time as well as time spent building chemistry with Sam Darnold, Mims should still be heavily featured in his debut simply because Adam Gase and the Jets desperately need a spark of something new on offense.
At Baylor, Mims caught 186 passes for 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns while averaging 15.7 yards per reception.
Shortly after drafting Mims, Douglas was quoting saying, “What you’re getting with Denzel is a long, smooth receiver, great body control, great catch radius, soft hands, ability to turn the short catches into long touchdown runs.”
With Mims hopeful to return this week, the pressure will be on Douglas.
The NY Jets will have high expectations for Denzel Mims upon his return.
Before trading back to pick 59, Douglas had the opportunity to draft Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool at pick 48. Claypool was drafted the very next pick by the Steelers and has been tearing it up this year with 335 receiving yards and six total touchdowns.
This will be a tough act to follow for Mims, but for the sake of Douglas’ reputation, he must find a way to contribute.
If Mims can emerge as a true physical outside threat that the Jets have lacked since the 2015 version of Brandon Marshall, it would be a huge step in the right direction towards the rebuild.
With Breshad Perriman likely gone after this season and Jamison Crowder possibly on the trade block, the Jets could be going into the 2021 NFL Draft in an even deeper hole than they are now at wide receiver.
However, if Mims is as good as Douglas said he can be, the Jets could be going into 2021 with a potential receiving corps of Allen Robinson or JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mims, Braxton Berrios in the slot, and Jeff Smith and Vyncint Smith as depth.
If Douglas decides not to break the bank on Robinson or Smith-Schuster, he can use that Seattle first-round pick he acquired from trading Jamal Adams on a high-end rookie receiver in yet another deep wide receiver class.
The Jets have nothing left to play for just six weeks into the season and currently sit at a 55.8 percent chance to land the number one overall pick, according to ESPN.
However, the return of Mims gives fans a reason to watch again.