Denzel Mims
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What do the numbers say about Sam Darnold‘s newest weapon?

Joe Douglas was able to snag a tantalizing target for Sam Darnold in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, grabbing Baylor’s Denzel Mims with the 59th pick after trading down 11 spots from the 48th slot.

Let’s dig into the analytics that showcase what Mims brings to the table.


Dominance in contested situations

Darnold’s aggressive mentality has been limited by the absence of an above-the-rim target that he can feel comfortable about throwing up a gutsy pass to. His special gifts as a scrambler have often gone for naught, as that “just throw it up and I’ll make a play” pass-catcher has not been there.

In addition, the Jets have not had a receiver capable of executing a fade route in the red zone since Brandon Marshall – or any short route in the red zone, for that matter. Robby Anderson leads the Jets with four touchdown receptions of 10 yards or less since 2016. That ties him for 108th in the NFL over that span.

The Jets have clearly prioritized solving this problem, focusing on receivers who possess the “go-up-and-get-it” ability that maximizes Darnold’s best traits. After adding a receiver in Breshad Perriman whose greatest strength is making acrobatic grabs (not to mention Josh Doctson), the Jets went out and gave Darnold another contested-catch specialist in Mims.

According to Pro Football Focus’ tracking, Mims reeled in 20 contested catches this past season, tied for the second-most in college football. Those receptions came across 41 contested targets, giving him a solid catch rate of 48.8% in those situations (average is about 44%). The fact that Mims was trusted for over three contested throws per game just goes to show how much confidence that quarterbacks have in him. That is exactly what Darnold needs – a receiver he can trust.

Mims will be the first red zone threat that the Jets have had on the outside since Marshall, and should provide a substantial upgrade over Anderson when it comes to complimenting Darnold’s gunslinger mentality.

Prowess in the intermediate range

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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3 years ago

Did Denzel break his hand in his junior year contributing to his drops ?
Denzel dropped in part because he is limited as a route runner, expectations have to be tempered, it will take time.
Love Mims for a weird reason, but it will get him on the field, especially in bunch formations, he BLOCKS, he is a very good blocker.