New Detroit Lions receiver Denzel Mims was pretty excited when he was traded from the New York Jets last week. Mims had requested a trade the year prior, but it never happened. So when Lions general manager Brad Holmes completed the deal late last week, a sense of relief and excitement came over Mims.
“I was pretty happy. It was a fresh start for me, a new start for me,” Mims told the Lions media after Monday’s training camp practice. “I was excited to get here, I wanted to get here right away, they got me here right away so I could get started and get acclimated to the team. I’m just blessed to be here, honestly.”
That eagerness to jump into the Lions offense was helped by quarterback Jared Goff. According to Mims, Goff was the first person who called after the trade, and the two talked for some time about the team, the offense, and the playbook.
“We talked about 20, 30 minutes and he told me how the players are around here and how the coaches are and we just got in the playbook right away,” Mims said. “So he got me ready for day one.”
Mims has only been with the Lions for less than a week, but the 25-year-old receiver believes he’s already in a good place with Ben Johnson’s offense.
“I already got the system kind of down. Been (coming) in early, staying late, pretty much got the playbook down already.”
That effort is plain to see on practice field for two days. Not only is he one of the last Lions players off the field, but on Monday, he also made several plays, including an impressive one-handed grab on an overthrown ball.
What’s also plain to see are the physical tools Mims can offer to the offense. He can beat just about anyone on the field in a footrace, and at 6-foot-3, he offers size to a receiving corps that only has one player taller than him (UDFA Chase Cota). But without the work ethic, those physical tools could go to waste.
“When you combine speed with size at the receiver position, you’re not bound to be successful, but you already have that upper edge over a lot of receivers,” teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown said. “So I’m excited to see what he does.”
With the Jets, it never all came together. He played for three seasons, but only caught a total of 42 passes. And by the end of his Jets career, he was an afterthought in a burgeoning receiving room. Mims wouldn’t expand on why things didn’t work out in New York, but he said the experience has certainly given him a chip on his shoulder.
“Damn right I got a chip on my shoulder, fa sho,” Mims said. “It’s time for me to show it, though. And I’m ready to show it.”