The Los Angeles Rams have a lot to figure out regarding their receiving corps ahead of the 2023 season. This offseason, they’ve already added veteran playmakers in Tyler Johnson and Demarcus Robinson. Another pass catcher wouldn’t hurt and LA should be monitoring Denzel Mims’ ongoing saga with the New York Jets.
Mims was a second-round pick out of Baylor in the 2020 draft. His time in New York hasn’t been a smooth landing. The fourth-year pro quickly fell out of favor in Robert Saleh’s first season and became a healthy scratch near the end of a trying 4-13 campaign. Unable to establish a role on offense, Mims requested a trade last offseason. One day after his trade request became official, Mims showed potential suitors exactly what he had during a strong preseason outing against the crosstown Giants.
The Jets didn’t budge on the trade demand and Mims was left to stick it out with New York. Through 10 games including four starts in ‘22, Mims caught just 11 passes for 186 yards and no scores. His longest reception went for 63 yards in a Week 8 home loss to the Patriots.
Throughout his three years in the Big Apple, Mims has yet to catch a touchdown pass and only has 42 receptions for 676 yards. The lack of production is concerning. However, Mims hasn’t been on the field much during his career as he’s started just half of his 30 games in the pros. He was already buried on the depth chart long before Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb departed Green Bay to join Aaron Rodgers.
Mims has been a major bust in NY but that doesn’t mean his career can’t be salvaged elsewhere. He needs to go to a place that will actually use him and what better place than Los Angeles? The offense needs another playmaker to take the pressure off Cooper Kupp. There is good news as Mims already has familiarity with new OC Mike LaFleur. The bad news is that Mims has familiarity with Mike LaFleur.
Part of the reason Mims hasn’t succeeded with the Jets was due to LaFleur not knowing what to do with him. He greatly mishandled his usage of the Baylor product and I don’t anticipate Mims being overly eager in working with his old coach on the Rams. LaFleur frequently spoke highly of Mims while he was in New York although that doesn’t mean anything if he couldn’t get the playmaker involved in the first place.
Mike LaFleur compares Denzel Mims' build to Kevin Durant's:— Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 16, 2021
"It's about taking those tools and being able to put them out on the field every single day" pic.twitter.com/8PDLRs2OU3
If LaFleur is willing to learn from his mistakes and Mims earns a role carved out for him, then a reunion needs to happen. Hollywood is the perfect place for both men to rewrite their narratives across the NFL landscape. Imagine Denzel Mims making teams across the league remember why he was so coveted coming out of college.
Baylor WR Denzel Mims— Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonFF) April 22, 2020
➕Upper % Athleticism
➕50% of Baylor’s pass TDs in 2019
➕19.9 Breakout Age
➖12.9% Drop Rate 2018-19
➖2.8 YAC per reception
➖1 Rush att/1 KR in 4 seasons
➖4 receptions from the slot