The Jets' wide receiver situation has taken three hits this offseason, first with the departure of Robby Anderson via free agency and then with the news -- though it wasn't unexpected -- that Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy would not be able to play for them in 2020.
And with a depth chart that features Jamison Crowder as their most established target, the Jets will be hoping that second-round pick Denzel Mims will be able to contribute in a big way immediately -- something his former coach sees happening.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, who coached Mims during his time at Baylor, referred to Mims as his "primary weapon," telling Newsday's Al Iannazzone that the 22-year-old wants to continue to learn.
"He's a clutch player," Rhule said. "He's someone who goes out there and when it really counts makes big plays."
When the Jets opted to take Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton at No. 11 in the draft, they passed on the opportunity to land CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs III -- viewed by most as the three best receivers in the draft.
But after getting Mims late in the second round at No. 59 overall, the Jets hope they have a steal on their hands.
Mims hauled in 66 catches for 1,020 yards with 12 touchdowns in 2019 during what was his senior season at Baylor. Those 12 touchdowns were the most of Mims' college career, eclipsing the eight he had in both 2017 and 2018.
"When it was crunch time, he was who we went to," Rhule said. "I think that's something that's innate. Lots of guys have stats but they disappear at the end of games. Denzel did not disappear. ... Learning how to play receiver, learning all the intricacies of route running, getting off bump-and-run, working the top of routes, he's developed in those areas. When you get to the NFL and you face the best of the best you make a really big jump. That's what all of the players I've had have done. I think Denzel will make yet another big jump this year."
Referring to Mims as an "unbelievably tough, hard-working guy," Rhule added that Jets fans are going to "love" the speedy receiver.
Jets QB Sam Darnold, speaking Tuesday during a conference call, talked about how excited he is to have Mims as one of his new targets.
"Denzel, watching his highlights and watching his plays that he made last year for Baylor, he's a great playmaker," Darnold said. "He's got a lot of potential and we're excited to have him."