Bengals draft Amarius Mims: How he fits, pick grade and scouting intel

Amarius Mims has only started 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. By drafting Mims, the Bengals committed to improving the protection of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow for years to come.

One of the weirdest athletes in the draft, Mims, at 6-foot-7, 340 pounds, is an incredibly gifted mover at his size, with a ton of room to grow. He moves like a fast, 340-pound tight end (with 36 1/8-inch arms and huge 11 3/8-inch hands) and has the foot speed and agility to reflect local athletic runners.

He is also a powerhouse with a punch that can bring down defenders with a single blow. Despite his giant frame, Mims plays with good curvature and maintains balance throughout his professional run and pass reps.

The issues are twofold: experience and health. Mims, 21, played only right tackle in his eight starts at Georgia, and he missed six games in 2023 with an ankle injury that required tightrope surgery. He could be a phenom eventually, but he may not be ready to start the upcoming season.

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“The Athletic Football Show”: Watch live reactions to the project

Breakdown of “The Beast”

Mims ranked No. 19 on Dane Brugler’s big Top 300 board. Here’s what Brugler had to say about him in his annual NFL Draft guide:

“Overall, Mims isn’t fundamentally as advanced (especially in the running game) as other tackles in the class, but he is a natural in pass protection with a length, Above-average legs and body contractions to handle different types of edge rushers. Although there is projection involved in his draft grade, his best football is ahead of him and he has the talent to become a starter. long term at left or right tackle.

Coach Information

What two anonymous coaches had to say about Mims in Bruce Feldman’s mock draft:

“A great athlete. Made a ton of plays. There are times he doesn’t diagnose well, but he can cover well and he’ll light guys up.

“He’s like a freak of nature. Massive but very athletic. He’s got good feet but he’s so wide that he has trouble with guys who can bend because his hips are a little stiff.

Why he is a first round pick

Some players have certain qualities that coaches cannot teach. Mims is full of them. Everything about his figure and athletic profile is elite. He just needs to learn how to be a professional tackle now.

How it fits

The best part about the Mims Cup is that he doesn’t have to play immediately. The only blow that would be imposed on him would be his eight career starts. He needs time to gain experience in the preseason and practices before he is asked to guard Burrow. That’s part of what made him such an attractive choice. He will be the first off the bench if something happens to Orlando Brown or Trent Brown on the outside. Trade one monster for another.

Impact on recruits

The Bengals always seem to draft a year in advance and that could end up being part of the plan here. More than anything, it allows them to build a team capable of winning in January. Not only was Burrow injured in two of his four seasons as a starter, but the Bengals started a backup right tackle in the playoffs for both of their deep runs and that played a significant role in those losses. They’re trying to win the Super Bowl and it would be surprising if Mims doesn’t start in January.

Impact on depth map

Mims will immediately practice at both tackle spots as a replacement swing tackle for both Browns. An important factor to remember is the durability issues Trent Brown has faced throughout his career. He has started more than 11 games just once in the last four seasons. He has battled weight issues and injuries. All reports say he’s looked good since signing with Cincinnati, but Mims is elite insurance.

They could also have chosen…

The Bengals could have opted for versatile offensive lineman Troy Fautanu from Washington instead of Mims. This was an upper tier selection. Fautanu has versatility at five positions and excelled as a pass protector for several years for the Huskies. There are a lot of people convinced that he can find a place where he plays well, who could be the right tackle, in the league. The Bengals passed on this for the big swing.

Quick assessment

It’s a risk. The reward is as big as Mims. Ultimately, he only played eight games in college. These eight games are fantastic and have made the Bengals staff believe. More importantly, reports of his performance in practice against the Bulldogs’ elite defensive tackles also played a role in viewing him as inexperienced, but not raw. This does not mean that it will evolve for sure, there is projection. This projection is All-Pro level.

(Photo: Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

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