NY Jets believe Nathaniel Hackett could unlock Denzel Mims' potential

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

NY Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims has had a rollercoaster of an NFL career to this point. The former second-round pick showed promise as a rookie and was expected to take on a larger role in his sophomore NFL season.

Unfortunately, Mims quickly found himself in the new coaching staff's doghouse, and he was soon relegated to an afterthought in the Jets offense. There are reasons to believe that could change, though.

While Mims never seemed to click with former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, there is a belief internally that new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett could unlock Mims' potential.

SNY's Connor Hughes reported on Wednesday that "the Jets believe Nathaniel Hackett will connect with Mims better than Mike LaFleur did, bringing out more in him." Hughes suggested that Mims could even be trusted with a starting role.

"I could see the Jets targeting a wideout in the third or fourth round — a bigger-bodied guy to complement [Garrett] Wilson and [Elijah] Moore. More likely: This is the year you see the team truly give Denzel Mims a chance to be the guy. He is still under contract and, with [Corey] Davis out, there is a path to him seeing more playing time."

Connor Hughes

Denzel Mims could replace Corey Davis in the NY Jets' offense

The Jets are expected to release Corey Davis this offseason, freeing up over $10 million in cap space in the process. Davis' release will leave a hole in the Jets' wide receiver corps, however. Perhaps that hole could be filled by Mims.

Many have suggested that the Jets could sign someone like Allen Lazard, especially if they trade for Aaron Rodgers, to fill that Davis role in the offseason, but don't be surprised if the team throws Mims a bone.

There is a belief inside the Jets' organization that Mims will perform better with Hackett running the show. The former Baylor standout impressed coaches with his work ethic last summer, but there just wasn't a role for him on the roster.

That could change next season.

Mims has managed just 19 catches for 319 yards over the last two seasons. He's struggled with concentration drops, had issues with penalties, has never scored an NFL touchdown, and doesn't really play special teams.

That's all working against him, but Mims possesses has the natural talent that led him to be selected 59th overall just a few years ago. Maybe, just maybe, that talent can still be salvaged.

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Here's to hoping that Mims can carve out a role in Hackett's offense next season.