NY Jets: Denzel Mims is a potential summer trade candidate
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets were hoping to see a potential breakout year from wide receiver Denzel Mims in his second NFL season.
But instead of training camp hype videos, the only way Mims has managed to make headlines has been through reports of him sliding down the depth chart.
Many presumed that Mims would be penciled in as one of the team's starters going into the 2021 season. Even after the additions of Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, and Elijah Moore, it was still a widespread belief that Mims would figure into the starting lineup.
But now two weeks into training camp, Mims isn't just fighting for playing time. He might be fighting for his future with the organization.
Could the NY Jets really trade Denzel Mims this summer?
Instead of running with the starters, Mims has primarily been working with the second and third-team offenses. Now it should be noted that the Jets have been rotating their receivers, just as they have with players at other positions.
Plenty of wideouts have gotten work with the starters and "running with the second/third-team" isn't a death sentence. Take Thursday's practice for example — six wide receivers received first-team reps.
There's one problem with that, however. Denzel Mims was not one of those six wide receivers.
For the last few practices, the Jets have clearly set the precedent that six wide receivers are ahead of Mims on the depth chart: Davis, Cole, Moore, Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Vyncint Smith.
Berrios and Smith are primarily special teamers who were expected to compete for a roster spot. Now, they find themselves ahead of last year's second-round pick on the depth chart.
It doesn't matter how big of an optimist or Mims-truther you are — that is cause for concern.
The Jets aren't just going to outright release Mims. Nothing is a guarantee, but that would be one of the more shocking roster decisions in quite some time.
But if things don't improve in a hurry, they could see what they might fetch for him on the open market. Mims would certainly have his fair share of suitors.
The 23-year-old possesses the raw size and athleticism needed to be an All-Pro-caliber receiver in the NFL. His rookie season was marred by injuries and a poor offensive system, but it feels far too early to give up on a talent like him.
The other factor to consider is that Mims isn't an ideal scheme fit for the Jets' new offensive system. Mims isn't the most refined route-runner and excels running downfield and making contested catches.
He doesn't have the same YAC ability as, well, really any of the guys ahead of him on the depth chart (maybe with the exception of Smith). Perhaps that's the reason he finds his stock plummeting. Or perhaps the Jets coaching staff is trying to send a message.
Whatever the reason, Denzel Mims is quickly losing his place in the offense. And if he isn't careful, he might just lose his spot on the roster.