Former NY Jets draft bust might be out of opportunities after latest release

This might be the end of the road for Denzel Mims
Denzel Mims
Denzel Mims / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

There was a time not too long ago when the NY Jets believed that Denzel Mims would be a key part of their future. The former second-round pick was seen as a foundational building block on an offense that was desperate for playmakers.

Just a few short years later and Mims might be out of the NFL — for good.

Mims was waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, bringing his latest uneventful stint with an NFL team to an end. The former Baylor standout has not appeared in a game since his departure from the Jets last summer.

Following yet another failed tenure with an NFL team, Mims might be running out of opportunities at this level. This might be the end of the road for Mims' NFL career.

Where did it go wrong for Denzel Mims and the NY Jets?

Mims was seen as a high-upside developmental receiver prospect when the Jets drafted him in the second round back in 2020. A hamstring injury kept him off the field for the early portion of his rookie season, but he showed genuine promise over the final half of the year.

Unfortunately, things quickly went south for Mims the following offseason. The Jets brought in a new coaching staff led by Robert Saleh and new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, and Mims found himself in the doghouse rather early.

Mims plummeted down the depth chart in the spring, and an untimely bout with food poisoning caused him to lose over 20 pounds of weight. He found himself a healthy scratch to begin the year, and he never regained the trust of his coaching staff.

The Jets would trade Mims to the Detroit Lions in July of 2023 following three underwhelming seasons in New York. Mims wouldn't last long in Detroit as he'd be waived the following month after suffering an injury in training camp.

Mims signed on with the Steelers' practice squad last October and was re-signed to a futures deal in January, but he didn't even make it to training camp with the team. Now, at 26 years old, Mims finds himself out of football entirely.

It's possible some team will be willing to take a chance on his physical tools as a bit of a reclamation project, but it's hard to see him carving out a successful NFL career at this point. A stint in either the UFL or CFL might make the most sense for Mims.

Denzel Mims will ultimately go down as yet another Day 2 Jets wide receiver draft bust. Here's to hoping that 2024 third-round pick Malachi Corley will be able to buck that troubling trend.