Over the last few years, the Jets have turned their wide receiver room into one of their biggest strengths.
Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson were added through the draft, Corey Davis was signed in free agency and Braxton Berrios was re-signed after a career year.
Those four players alone, mixed with new faces at tight end and running back, can play a significant role in elevating Zach Wilson’s game as the quarterback prepares to embark on his sophomore season.
And yet, there’s still a huge question mark looming over that position group, a question mark attached to a wideout hanging on to a green and white thread.
Denzel Mims battled adversity on and off the field in 2021, his second year with the Jets. Rather than taking a step forward and blossoming as one of New York’s best receivers, the former second-round pick was either sidelined by illness or an inability to secure playing time.
When he did have his opportunities, Mims never took advantage. He finished the year with just eight catches in 11 games played, totaling 133 receiving yards.
Scroll to Continue
Add those numbers to his relatively promising rookie year, when Sam Darnold was still under center, and Mims has racked up a grand total of 490 receiving yards in a Jets uniform, hauling in just 31 of his 67 targets. In 20 games, Mims still hasn’t caught his first NFL touchdown.
New York’s coaching staff and executives have stood by the Baylor product through the highs and the lows. Eventually, the organization needs to confront reality.
Does this team really want to use a roster spot on Mims this year?
Let’s run through the pros and cons of keeping Mims around.
Should the New York Jets Trade Wide Receiver Denzel Mims?
Get Rid of Mims
Last year, the Jets shopped Mims around at the trade deadline.
Rumors were swirling throughout the season.
To a certain extent, Mims sticking around feels like a waste of a roster spot. If he can’t produce on special teams, and New York already has a tremendous group of wide receivers, then why keep him?
He’s shown flashes of potential in the past and the talent is absolutely there. You have to figure another team in need of depth or a spark at receiver would be willing to trade something of value back to New York, whether it’s during training camp or at some point over the next few months.
Don’t overthink this, Joe Douglas. Rip the band-aid and move on with the superior internal options.
Keep Mims Around
Not so fast.
The Jets know what it feels like to have their offense depleted by injuries, specifically at the wide receiver position.
Sure, the WR room is stacked and better than it has been in years, but what happens when one or two of those wideouts suddenly get sidelined. At least Mims is a familiar face that knows the offense and can, in theory, seamlessly take over.
The worst-case scenario here is that Zach Wilson can’t develop in Year 2. You have to keep as much talent available as possible, because in the NFL, injuries are coming.
If New York can work some magic with the 53-man roster, it won’t hurt to have Mims around. Again, we’re talking about a former second-round pick, a wideout with a huge catch radius and some serious playmaking ability.
Besides, if Mims has truly improved this offseason, maybe he’ll somehow work his way into the rotation (and prove he’s capable of contributing on special teams as well).
When has it ever hurt to have a surplus of talent, insurance policies for when that inevitable wave of adversity eventually hits.
New York should continue to listen to offers, waiting to see if another team surprises them with a return they can’t refuse.
If the price is right, make the move and don’t look back. There are always reserve options that can step up into bigger roles if somebody gets hurt. Mims needs an extended opportunity to recognize his potential and figure things out at this level. He won’t have that chance with the Jets, not unless a serious injury were to take place.
It’s not ideal to move on from a second-round pick this quickly, but not every draft pick is going to work out. New York has done a great job surrounding their quarterback with the right pieces to succeed and that’s the most important part of this process.
Otherwise, keep an open mind and do everything possible to bring the best out of Mims. At this point, it’s safe to lower expectations. Maybe he’ll surprise everyone this year.