Is there any hope for Denzel Mims with the NY Jets?
Despite improving on his nine appearances in his rookie year with 11, his snap count was down last season to 279, a drop from 439 in the previous year. In terms of production, Mims' stat line also dropped from his rookie year with just eight receptions for 123 yards and zero touchdowns.
With just eight receptions on 23 targets, New York's QB room had a passer rating of 55.8 when targeting him. It is clear that Mims has not adapted well to the team's new offensive system. This is a clear issue and early suggestions that the relationship between Mims and this offensive scheme is not meant to be.
This leads to a further schematic disagreement between Mims and this offense. Receivers in the Jets' current system need to be crisp route runners who know the playbook like the back of their hand. This has been a hard transition for Mims.
Switching playbooks after his rookie season was no easy task, especially moving to one that is so specific and technical. Robert Saleh hinted at the differences between his skill set and the ones needed in the offense in an interview earlier last season saying:
"When you’re not one of the main three (receivers) you got to know all three spots, and you got to know them at a high level so you can step in and take advantage of all those opportunities."- Robert Saleh
After this answer earlier in the season, this confirmed to the public that Mims was struggling to get a grasp of the playbook. Whilst some may argue this can be excused, slightly due to the fact that Mims was thrust into a completely new offense, this was still a disappointing admission to hear.
This is the saga that has unfolded around Mims over the last year, and it is hard to see a path to success from here. I don't think Mims has any issues with his attitude as some suggested, however.
He has been out in Arizona over the offseason getting reps in with Zach Wilson, so there is hope this culminates in some sort of link between the two. This is also an indication that he's putting in an effort to improve both his skills and his knowledge of the complicated playbook he has struggled to grasp.
I think it is still too early to say that hope of him being a useful playmaker is over. I also think it is safe to say that any hope of him being at the top of the Jets' depth chart has sadly died. There are plenty of other teams whose offenses he'd be more suited to, but the Jets are not atop that list.
I'm glad to see him out in the desert working hard, and I hope it will lead to more than the 23 targets he received in 2021, but this season seems like Mims' ultimatum as to whether there is any hope whatsoever of him receiving a second contract.