NY Jets: Denzel Mims working exclusively with second-team offense

NY Jets, Denzel Mims
NY Jets, Denzel Mims / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NY Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims had a bit of a rocky start to his NFL career with a rookie season plagued by injuries, inconsistent quarterback play, and a lackluster offensive system.

Safe to say, Mims was hardly in an ideal situation last season, especially given the absence of a true offseason to prepare him for the pros.

But hopes are high that Mims could breakout in 2021 and live up to the potential he showed in college that led to the Jets selecting him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten off to the best of starts this spring.

The NY Jets have seemingly demoted Denzel Mims on the depth chart.

Mims missed part of OTAs with an illness, and even when he was on the field, he wasn't playing the role many expected him to play. Rather than being one of the team's top two outside receivers, Mims was relegated to the second team for the majority of OTAs.

Instead, it was free-agent signing Keelan Cole who emerged as the Jets' WR2 opposite fellow offseason signing Corey Davis. The Jets love Cole and his impressive performance this spring has helped him solidify his role.

Mims still received some work with the ones at OTAs, but that changed when the team reconvened for minicamp on Tuesday. With Davis back in the fold, Mims was demoted to exclusively second-team reps.

The likes of Davis, Cole, Elijah Moore, and even Vyncint Smith received first-team reps at outside receiver. Mims was nowhere to be found.

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Cole was ahead of him on the depth chart. And even though many have tried to pigeonhole Moore as "just a slot guy," the Jets plan to use him all over the field. Both players have a legitimate case to start over Mims.

But Vyncint Smith? That's a little concerning.

Smith is fighting an uphill battle to even make the roster after hauling in just one catch in seven games last season. Mims was the guy who many expected to be a potential breakout star this year.

Instead, he's seemingly fallen behind Vyncint Smith on the depth chart.

Perhaps the Jets are just trying to send a message. Perhaps the new coaching staff hasn't been impressed with Mims so far. Remember, this new staff doesn't have any ties to these players — everyone is starting from square one.

It's still early and there's no reason to panic, but it certainly is a cause for concern that Mims has fallen so far down the depth chart in minicamp.

The Jets will hold their second and final day of on-field minicamp on Wednesday and it'll be interesting to see how many reps Mims receives and if he's back to working with the first-team offense.

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It's too early to sound the alarms, but keep an eye on Denzel Mims this summer. His role in the offense is far from set in stone.