June 16, 2024

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Bengals draft Amarius Mims: How he fits in, pick grade and scout information

Bengals draft Amarius Mims: How he fits in, pick grade and scout information

Amarius Mims has started just eight games in his college career, but the talented offensive tackle has a high enough ceiling that the Cincinnati Bengals selected him with the No. 18 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. In drafting Mims, the Bengals committed to improving their franchise quarterback protection Joe Burrow for years to come.

One of the most formidable athletes in the draft, the 6-foot-7, 340-pound Mims is an insanely talented mover for his size, with plenty of room to grow. He moves like a fast-paced, 340-pound tight end (with 36 1/8-inch arms and massive 11 3/8-inch hands) and has the foot speed and agility to reflect an athletic rush off the corner.

He also has great punching power and can sweep defenders off their feet with a single strike. Despite his massive frame, Mims plays with good curves and maintains balance throughout his round and passing professional reps.

The issues are twofold: experience and health. Mims, 21, only played right tackle in his eight games with Georgia, missing six games in 2023 with an ankle injury that required tightrope surgery. He could become a phenomenon in time, but he may not be ready to start next season.

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The collapse of the “monster”.

Mims is ranked No. 19 on Dane Brugler's Top 300 Large Companies list. Here's what Brugler had to say about him in his annual NFL Draft guide:

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“Overall, Mims isn't as far fundamental (especially in the run game) as the other tackles in the class, but he is a natural in pass protection with above-average length, footwork and body twitch to handle different types of edge rushes. . . although there is Expectations included in his draft grade, but his best football is ahead of him, and he has the talent to become a long-term starter at left or right tackle.

Intel training

What two anonymous coaches said about Mims in Bruce Feldman's mock draft:

“Great athlete. Makes a ton of plays. There are times when he doesn't profile well, but he can cover well, and he'll light up guys.”

“He's like a freak of nature. Huge but very athletic. He's got good feet but he's very high-cut, and he struggles with guys who can bend because he's got a little stiff hips.”

Why he is a first round pick

Some players have certain traits that coaches cannot teach. Mims are full of them. Everything about his frame and athletic profile is elite. He just needs to learn how to be a pro now.

How it fits

The best thing about Mims' fit is that he doesn't have to play right away. The only knock on him would be his eight career starts. He needs time to gain experience in pre-season and training before he is asked to protect Boro. That's part of what made it an attractive choice. He'll be first on the bench if anything happens to Orlando Brown or Trent Brown out there. Replace one monster with another.

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Beginner effect

The Bengals always seem to be drafting next year and that could end up being part of the plan here. More than anything, it allows them to build a team that can win in January. Not only did Burrow get hurt in two of his four seasons as a starter, but the Bengals started as a backup right tackle in the playoffs for each of their deep runs and played a significant role in those losses. They are trying to win a Super Bowl and it would be surprising if Mims doesn't start in January.

Depth chart effect

Mims will immediately practice at both tackle positions as the backup swing tackle for both Browns. One important factor to remember is the durability issues that Trent Brown has faced throughout his career. He has started more than 11 games just once in the past four seasons. He has struggled with weight and injury issues. All reports say he looks good since signing with Cincinnati, but Mims is an elite insurance prospect.

They could also choose…

The Bengals could have gone with versatile offensive lineman Troy Votano from Washington instead of Mims. It was a choice for the top floor. Fautanu has versatility at five positions and has excelled as a pass protector for several years for the Huskies. There is a lot of confidence that he can find a place where he can play well, which could be a decent tackle, in the league. The Bengals passed that on for a big swing.

Quick evaluation

This is dangerous. The reward is as big as the memes. The bottom line is he only played eight games in college. Those eight games are great and made the Bengals a believer. More importantly, reports of how he performed in practice against the Bulldogs' elite defensive tackles also played a role in seeing him as inexperienced, but not raw. This does not mean that it will definitely develop, there are expectations. This projection is All-Pro level.

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(Photo: Brandon Slaughter/Getty Images)