Recently on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" show, Nate Burleson gave five breakout-wide-receiver candidates for 2021, and Jets WR Denzel Mims was No. 4.
"Denzel Mims is one of my favorite young wide receivers who is a fantastic talent," Burleson said. "Last year he had just under 400 yards in nine games. He was averaging about 15 yards a pop and we know this offense struggled. They couldn't keep the quarterback clean, the quarterback couldn't stay healthy. There was just no rhythm and consistency, but still, this guy had plays that we could look at and say 'You know what? This guy is going to be quite the talent.' Five of his 23 catches last season went for 25 yards or more, so we know that he's a big-play guy.
"Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur compared him to Kevin Durant. I know you're saying, 'Whoa, whoa. Kevin Durant? Isn't that dude skinny?' Yeah, but he's skinny and he's long and he has range. The quote is actually: 'He has a wingspan like Kevin Durant. He has tons of range. As the longball gets around him anywhere, he can catch that thing.' So, we know he can be -- I guess you could say -- the easy money sniper within this offense. Shoutout to Denzel Washington Mims because he is a beast. He will be the equalizer within this offense for the Jets."
A second-round pick out of Baylor in 2020, Mims (6-3, 207) sustained back-to-back hamstring injuries that kept him out of training camp and the first half of the regular season. He started in eight of the nine games he played in as a rookie, totaling 23 receptions and 357 yards. He had at least 40 yards in each of his first six games. LaFleur said that Mims will need to continue to adjust to the NFL game this offseason to improve after laying a solid foundation last season.
"He just needs to work and get out there and put as many reps on tape to start to get adjusted to this game because he didn't have the offseason last year," he said. "Then he came in in training camp and was hurt so then he ended up missing the first part. He ended up having a pretty decent back half of the year, but I'm excited to work with him. He's eager. He's a really cool dude to work with. But he's just going to have to get out there and again, it's just going to be reps and just going and understanding the speed of the game."