With the 59th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Denzel Mims, the senior wide receiver out of Baylor. Mims had been generating first round buzz after putting up a sub-4.40 40 yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, as a 6 foot 3, 207 pound player with elite athleticism. Many mock drafts had him pegged to the Packers at pick 30 (they ended up trading up to select Jordan Love, which was the biggest shock of round 1) or to the Dolphins at pick 26 (they ended up trading back to 30 and selecting cornerback Noah Igbinoghene out of Auburn). The Jets got the biggest steal of the 2nd round after trading back from pick 48, acquiring an extra 3rd round pick (which they later flipped into 2 4th round picks and a future 6th) and still getting Mims at 59, who they would have taken at 48. Every Jets fan knows we got a steal. But what impact will Mims have on the Jets during his rookie season?
Mims likely enters the season as the team’s #1 wide receiver. Sure, they signed Breshad Perriman in free agency, who flourished last year in Tampa Bay when given the opportunity, but hasn’t been nearly as consistent as you expect a #1 wide receiver to be. There will be a battle in training camp and preseason between Mims and Perriman as to who enters the season as the Jets X receiver, but it seems most likely that Mims will be that guy. What can we expect from him production wise in year 1? We can expect a lot of targets coming his way, as him and Darnold hopefully are able to develop a connection and start to build chemistry right away. We can expect Mims to be a man on a mission, with something to prove. He was not happy at all that he fell all the way to pick 59 in the draft, and he told Joe Douglas that “every other team is going to pay” for passing on him.
Who is Denzel Mims pro comparison? To me, he reminds me of Julio Jones. No, he is not as good as Julio Jones. But they are very similar players. They are both 6 foot 3, and they both ran a 4.39 40 yard dash at the combine. Both are athletic freaks who can consistently make the contested catches and win 1 on 1. Mims, however, has a problem with drops, which is almost certainly what pushed him out of round 1. Julio never had this problem, which is what makes him the better player than Mims.
Mims will be immediately inserted into the pass catching core along with Perriman and Jamison Crowder, the Jets slot receiver and their leader in receiving yards last season, and with tight ends Ryan Griffin and Chris Herndon, who quietly had a very good rookie season in 2018 before missing all but 1/2 of a game in 2019 due to suspension and then injury. Barring injury, Mims will trot out week 1 with the starters, and will hopefully be the Jets #1 wide receiver for the decade to come.