The New York Jets have spent a lot at the wide receiver position in the Joe Douglas era. Three wide receivers: Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Denzel Mims, were all selected in the first two rounds of each of Douglas’ three drafts. Add that to the fact that over the last two offseasons, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios have been signed to multi-year contracts. Jeff Smith has been with the Jets for four years as well.
In turn, the group has depth but ultimately, many players vying for reps. The frustrations, which have led to trade requests for second-round picks Moore and Mims, have been documented. Some would even argue since being paid a fairly decent contract, Berrios’ role has decreased too much.
Over the last three weeks, the Jets were without Moore in a game and Davis for essentially two-and-a-half. It led to an adjustment in terms of the rep share. Now though, with Davis likely set to return following the bye week, how will the playing time at wide receiver change?
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Is Denzel Mims ahead of Elijah Moore on the New York Jets depth chart?
At this point, the rookie, Wilson, is firmly established at the top as the lead option for this group. He has been on the field for at least 88% of the snaps in the last two games, and that should not change.
Once he is cleared to play, Davis is this group’s second starter alongside Wilson. Over his final five completed games, Davis played at least 74% of the snaps.
Berrios has his consistent role as the gadget player, utilized on jet and orbit motioning, end arounds, and in the quick passing game around the line of scrimmage. He averages 22 reps a week.
From there, it leads to a big question for this Jets offense. Has Mims surpassed Moore on the depth chart of the Jets coaches?
At this point in time, it is certainly fair to say so. In three games since Moore’s trade request, he was made inactive, played 10 snaps, and played 27 snaps but was hardly a focal point with not one target. Over the same last three weeks, for Mims, he had one key block on a big Breece Hall touchdown, which then led to a three and a four target game, playing 75% of the snaps in both of those games, having by far his biggest role yet in Mike LaFleur’s offense.
Mims has recorded four catches for 92 yards, highlighted by two splash plays late in games. He had a catch-and-run go for 63 yards in Week 8. In last Sunday’s win, Mims had a clutch third-down grab on a slant in the red zone with a little over two minutes left. After a year-and-a-half of trying to prove himself, Mims seems to have finally won Robert Saleh and LaFleur over with his approach.
On the other hand, Moore looks like he is not in any sort of good standing with anyone. He was essentially utilized as a decoy on orbit motioning in Week 9.
There is no denying Moore’s talent, and with more opportunities down the stretch, what he can provide the Jets offense with. Things at the moment just seem too unknown. While ringing endorsements have been made by Joe Douglas, Saleh, and LaFleur regarding Moore, his playing time and target amounts could not be more minimal. Rightfully so, on a winning team, it seems as if the coaches and organization are not too pleased with his recent trade request and comments made publicly.
As the 2022 season progresses, perhaps, Moore works his way back into the consistent rotation when the Jets operate out of 11 personnel. As of now, though, following the bye, it seems like Mims will be this group’s third receiver behind Wilson and Davis. It will certainly be a fascinating development to follow.