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Jets WR Denzel Mims Inspiring a Lot of Nicknames These Days

OC Mike LaFleur Draws Parallels Between His Young Wideout & Some More Veteran Athletes in the NY Market


Not many outside of 1 Jets Drive have heard Denzel Mims' derivative nickname, although the second-year wideout knows he'll be responding to it a lot more considering who's using it these days.

"Coach Saleh calls me 'Mimsy' a lot," Mims said with a smile to Eric Allen of "Whenever I hear him say Mimsy, I know he's talking to me."

But how long before he starts hearing some different nicknames like "Velvet Rope" or "K-Smoove." If he does, he can have offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to thank.

"Denzel just looks like he has a wingspan like Kevin Durant," LaFleur said in a recent ear-opening quote in which he likened his young pass catcher to the Brooklyn Nets' monster power forward.

Then, not happy with merely a comparison between DM with KD, LaFleur went on to draw some parallels between his 6-3, 207-pound pass-catcher and CD — as in 6-3, 209-pound Corey Davis, the productive fifth-year WR the Jets acquired this offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

"He kind of goes in that same mold as Corey in terms of just the size and the ability," LaFleur said. "Just if the ball is anywhere in the vicinity, you expect them to get it. ... And you knew he was big, but then when you get to see him in person, he's actually a little bit bigger than even I thought."

Mims doesn't seem too worried about trying on nicknames right now, but he does admit that he and Davis are comparing notes during the Jets' OTAs.

"Yeah, some things he does, I see myself doing as well," he said. "We talk a lot, try to help each other out and help each other to get better. He's just teaching me a lot of things that are going to help improve my game and let me know what's going to happen out there. He's doing a great job mentoring me, guiding me to the right direction."

Then looking in the other direction on the experience continuum, Mims said he liked what he's seen so far from second-round rookie WR Elijah Moore. Has he been talking with EM as well?

"Yeah, I just told him to keep doing what he's doing and stay focused," Mims said. "Elijah's a great receiver who comes out and works every single day."

So if we take Mims and Davis and Moore and add to them Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole and Braxton Berrios, the Jets' wide receiver corps in less than a year appears to have acquired some nickname potential. For sure, they rang up some numbers in 2020 — those six WRs, for their various teams last season, combined for 325 catches, 4,269 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Mims, who in his nine games as a rookie had 23 catches for 357 yards (15.5 yards/catch), has had a quiet offseason so far after battling an illness and then having a practice with a few dropped balls. But none of his coaches is worried about receiving stats or the lack of them during padless, contactless June workouts.

And for his part, Mims seems OK to bide his time, wait for the opportunity to grab a new handle like "Sniper Mims" or something similar, and keep working on learning LaFleur's offense and bonding with his position mates and teammates, new and old.

"Just being here with these guys in the offseason," he said, "just getting to work and trying to build a culture up here, it feels pretty good."

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