After the NY Jets decided that former second-round pick Denzel Mims was not a good fit for Nathaniel Hackett's wide receiver room, the Detroit Lions decided to skip to the front of the line and beat every other NFL team vying for his services to the punch.
The Lions traded a conditional sixth-round pick in 2025 to the Jets in exchange for Mims and a conditional seventh-rounder. With Jameson Williams dealing with a suspension, the Lions believed that a physical talent like Mims could give the offense an element of verticality that isn't always there.
Unfortunately, Mims doesn't seem to have taken to life with Jared Goff quite well, as Detroit seems thoroughly unimpressed with what he has put on practice tape so far. He has been hurt for most of his Lions' tenure, which has put even more of a damper on things.
Head coach Dan Campbell sounded far from satisfied with what Mims has shown in his first extended action in Honolulu blue.
Campbell said that Mims was "in the room" with a very blank expression right after discussing adding yet another receiver. It doesn't take a master tea leaf reader to see that Mims has underwhelmed in practice, which could prompt yet another wideout coming to town. Mims' second chance isn't going so well.
Former NY Jets WR Denzel Mims struggling with Lions
Physically, Mims has all the tools needed to succeed in the NFL. With a 6-3 frame, a sub 4.4 40-yard dash, and impressive leaping ability in contested catch situations, Mims looks like what the modern NFL X receiver should be. However, a combination of bad luck and poor play has limited his ability to be impactful in the pros.
After a solid rookie season, Mims never took to Mike LaFleur's offense and the Jets' directive to learn multiple wide receiver positions. While his bout with food poisoning set him back, that can't explain multiple seasons of poor performance.
His biggest issue in the pros, even with the drop problems that were not there during his college days at Baylor, is his poor route-running. The Lions found out what the Jets saw for three years; Mims was winning on pure athleticism rather than technique at the collegiate level.
The Lions have one of the most creative offensive coordinators in the league in Ben Johnson as well as a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Goff that has made it to a Super Bowl. If they can't turn Mims into a player worth a damn in the pros, things are looking quite grim for him.