With Denzel Mims getting traded to the Detroit Lions for a late-round pick swap, it’s time to take a look at the players who could take his spot on the roster.
The trade of Mims was hardly a surprise. The former Baylor man had previously asked for a trade and had struggled to break through with the Jets under Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur.
Trading him to the Lions was best for everyone. It gives Mims a chance to establish himself somewhere else from the very start of camp, and it gives the Jets a minor bump in the 2025 draft.
Considering the Jets were going to release him if no trade partner could be found, that minor bump is a win, albeit a very small one.
Even before news broke yesterday that Mims’s Jets career had come to an end, the writing was on the wall.
The top of the depth chart is absolutely loaded, and in terms of the final 53-man roster, there really is only one slot up for grabs. Whoever earns that slot will need to play special teams, Mims doesn’t play special teams.
Personally, I wish Mims the very best of luck. It didn’t work out here, but that happens. He asked for a trade but he did it the right way, there were no toys launched from 1JD and he continued to work his butt off day-in and day-out.
Although we’ve now arrived at a point where I’d ban the Jets front office from selecting receivers in the 2nd round. Mims, Elijah Moore, Devin Smith, Stephen Hill, Jace Amaro (TE), Alex Van Dyke, Ryan Yarborough, Reggie Rembert...it just doesn’t end well for us.
Enough about those who are gone. Who’s left?
Jets Wide Receiver Candidates for the 6th WR Role
The first five spaces on the wide receiver depth chart are pretty much set in stone barring a trade, or a Wayne Chrebet-type ascendency from one of the UDFAs.
Last year the Jets carried six, and it’s reasonable to expect them to do the same this year. Most teams carry six into the season, some teams take five, some teams take seven, but most take six.
Here are the candidates to fill that 6th spot for the New York Jets.
I’m going to start with the guy who I have as the leader of the pack and a player who has already made some moves during OTAs.
Brownlee is a UDFA out of Southern Miss. A 6’2 200lb receiver who led the Golden Eagles in receiving for three years in a row after dominating at East Mississippi Community College to the tune of 75 receptions for 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Last year he caught 55 passes for 891 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also happened to have just a 6.8% drop rate and brought in 15 contested catches. He’s a physical force on the outside and the kind of receiver that Nathaniel Hackett absolutely loves.
It’s also worth mentioning that despite being the team's star receiver, he did see time on special teams, in particular the punt coverage unit.
Charles is a UDFA with a years worth of experience with the franchise. The Jets picked him up from Indiana (PA) last off-season and by all accounts were impressed with him from the start.
Immediately after the draft, I reached out to his college coach who said this about his former player:
“Irvin has a great skill in making the 50/50 catch down the field when being covered by a Def back closely and is a tremendous receiver in the Red Zone and on the Goal - line because of his size and length”
In 2021 he finished the season with 39 catches for 792 yards and 12 touchdowns and became the go-to option in the red zone. He’s another big, physical perimeter wide receiver. A player who first signed on at Penn State where he was described by James Franklin as “Maybe the most talented wide receiver I’ve been around,”.
Here’s another player from the 2023 UDFA pool, and unlike the first two guys on the list he brings a different profile standing at 5’9 and weighing 189lbs.
Originally committed to SMU, Gipson switched to Stephen F. Austin and put up a stellar career for the Lumberjacks.
His best season came in 2021 when he caught 75 receptions for 1,378 yards and 14 touchdowns. He followed that up with 65 catches for 1,163 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2022.
Here’s why Gipson is one of the favourites to win the spot. He had 2,208 yards after the catch in college and played a ton of special teams, including a stint as a kick and punt returner.
The three guys at the top of this list are the leading candidates, and now we get down to the outside horses.
Kapp was invited to the Jets rookie tryout and impressed enough to bag himself an invitation to training camp, the Kutztown receiver is trying to follow in the footsteps of Andre Reed who played at the same school and was a 4th round pick of the Bills.
Kapp brought down 47 receptions for 916 yards and nine touchdowns last year and led the conference with 19.5 yards per catch, so he certainly has game-breaking potential.
It’s a big ask to come in straight away as a small school prospect and play your way onto the roster, but Kapp has a ton of developmental potential and will likely land on the practice squad.
T. J. Luther
Luther is closer to the profile of Gipson than he is Brownlee, but at 5’11 he does have the size advantage, he also happens to be lightning quick.
Having started his career at Wofford, Luther was used all over the field in both the receiving and running game with the coach doing all he could to utilise the speed. He was also an accomplished kick returner averaging 29.8 yards with a touchdown his final year at Wofford.
Luther transferred to Gardner-Webb and put up an outstanding stat line as he led the Bulldogs with 63 receptions for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns, that works out at 18.5 yards a reception, so game-breaking speed to utilise as a deep ball threat.
At 31 years old I’d say that Spencer is on the outside looking in, and it seems he gets cut and re-signed every 5 minutes.
A UDFA out of McNeese State back in 2014, Spencer was originally picked up by the Rams while they were still in St Louis. He’s made just 10 receptions in the NFL, with the majority of his production coming in the CFL with Toronto and Ottawa.
He must have something about him for the Jets to keep bringing him back, but I just can’t see him beating out the promising youth of Brownlee, Charles or Gipson.
Finally, we have Malik Taylor, a 27-year-old receiver who went undrafted out of Ferris State back in 2019.
He originally caught on in Tampa Bay, but it was in Green Bay that he found some stability with the Packers. He arrived in 2019, made the final 53 man roster in 2020 and stayed there before signing with the Jets in December 2022.
His time in Green Bay overlapped with Aaron Rodgers and Nathaniel Hackett, so there is some familiarity with both QB and system, but I’d consider him a long shot to capture that final 6th spot on the WR depth chart.