It was abundantly clear that the New York Jets underperformed in 2019. Despite high expectations, they finished the year with a dismal 7-9 record, and that was only because of a late season surge. Struggling on the offensive side of the ball, especially during the first half of the season, is what held this team back from doing any damage.
The Jets made some nice off-season moves through free agency, but it is the draft that will help catapult this roster further. Their first-round pick Mekhi Becton was a very solid pickup to help secure the team’s offensive line, however, it is their second-round pick, wide receiver Denzel Mims, who will carry the offensive load this season.
Many professional analysts questioned the Jets decision to pass on top wide receiving prospect CeeDee Lamb at eleven, as he was not projected to fall that low. Though New York knew that the receiving class in this draft was deep and decided to wait until the second round to make a move. It would have behooved the Jets to not draft a decent receiver considering the current status of their wide receiving core. Therefore, settling on Mims in the second round was fantastic for them.
With the departure of one of their best deep threats over the past few years in Robby Anderson and the release of long-time, yet injury prone Quincy Enunwa, the Jets needed reinforcements for Sam Darnold. Mims provides reliability, speed, and consistency to an offense in desperate need of it.
Last season had Le’Veon Bell still trying to return to form after sitting out a season, Darnold still adjusting in just his second season, a mess of an offensive line, and lots of other new players attempting to find their role in Adam Gase’s system. This offense should have much better chemistry this year and the addition of Mims can make the Jets much more formidable.
This 22-year-old receiver brings so many new attributes to the table for New York. One of the most glaring aspects of Mims’s game is his elite speed. He ran a very impressive 4.39 forty and a 6.66 three cone drill. This incredible acceleration will help the Jets adjust better from the loss of Anderson, now that they have a very viable alternate.
Mims will also give the Jets receiving core some much needed stability, as he proved himself to be reliable and consistent during his time at Baylor. Mims did not become a starter until his sophomore season, but once he was given the playing time, he refused to relinquish it.
During his collegiate career, he accomplished some impressive feats, including two 1,000-yard seasons and 28 touchdowns in the three full seasons he played. He also secured over 55 receptions or more in all of those seasons, including a career high 66 in his senior year. Dependability like this is extremely key for a team that could not replicate positive offensive production on a week to week basis last year.
Statistically, Mims has shown he could get the job done in college and the Jets expect him to do the same at the professional level. Though with the Jets having such a thin receiving core at the moment, fronted mainly by Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder, it should allow plenty of opportunities for Mims.
The number of targets that Mims will receive should far exceed the average rookie wide receivers because his skill has the potential to reach the level of a number one receiver and there is not much in his way to stop him. There is a very high probability that Mims will become Darnold’s primary target by the end of the season if he can produce.
Expectations are lower for the Jets this season, but the division is also weaker, meaning that there could be a surprise team to overtake the AFC East. If they are able to upset, do not be shocked if Mims is a major reason why.