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Bengals draft Amarius Mims: how he fits, pick rank and scouting information


Amarius Mims started just eight games in his college career, but the talented offensive tackle has a ceiling so high that the Cincinnati Bengals selected him with pick No. 18 in the 2024 NFL Draft. In drafting Mims, the Bengals promised the upcoming years to improve the protection of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow.

One of the most outlandish athletes in the draft, the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Mims is an insanely gifted mover for his size, with tons of room to grow. He moves around like a tight end – a speedy one – at 340 pounds (with 36 1/8-inch arms and massive 11 3/8-inch hands) and has the foot speed and agility to handle athletic rushers from the corner to mirror.

He is also a powerhouse who can knock down defenders with one punch. Despite his gigantic frame, Mims plays with good bend and maintains his balance during both his run and pass-pro reps.

The problems 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 cord surgery. He could be a phenom in the long run, but he may not be ready to start next season.

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‘The Beast’ Breakdown

Mims was ranked number 19 in Dane Brugler’s Top 300 big board. Here’s what Brugler had to say about him in his annual NFL Draft guide:

“Overall, Mims isn’t as fundamentally deep (especially in the run game) as other tackles in the class, but he is a natural in pass protection with above-average length, footwork and body traction to handle a variety of edge rushers. . While there is projection at his draft level, his best football is ahead of him, and he has the talent to be a long-term starter at left or right tackle.”

Coaching information

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

“Great athlete. Makes a lot of plays. There are times when he doesn’t get the diagnosis right, but he’s a good coverer and he’ll scam the guys.”

‘He’s kind of a freak of nature. Massive but very athletic. He’s got good feet, but he’s cut so high that he struggles with guys who can bend because he has a little bit of stiff hips.”

Why he’s being picked in the first round

Some players have some qualities that coaches cannot teach. Mims is full of it. Everything about his frame and athletic profile is elite. Now he just needs to learn how to become a professional tackle.

How it fits

The best part about the 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 preseason experience and practice before being asked to protect Burrow. That’s part of what made him such an attractive choice. He will be the first one off the bench if something happens to Orlando Brown or Trent Brown on the outside. Trade one monster for another.

Rookie impact

The Bengals are seemingly always drafting a year ahead and that could end up being part of the plan here. Above all, he allows them to build a team that can win 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 it played a major role in those losses. They’re trying to win the Super Bowl and it would be surprising if Mims doesn’t start in January.

Depth chart impact

Mims will immediately train at both tackle spots as a backup swing tackle for both Browns. An important factor to remember is the durability issues that Trent Brown faced throughout his career. Over the past four seasons, he has played in just 11 games once. He has struggled with weight and injury issues. 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 gone with versatile Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu instead of Mims. He was a higher floor selection. Fautanu has five-position versatility and excelled as a pass protector for the Huskies for years. There is a lot of confidence that he can find a place where he plays well, which could be a good tackle, in the league. The Bengals passed on that for the big swing.

Quick evaluation

This is a risk. The reward is as big as Mims. The bottom line is that he only played eight games in college. Those eight games are fantastic and convinced the Bengals staff. More importantly, the 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. That doesn’t mean he will definitely develop; there is projection. That projection is at the All-Pro level.

(Photo: Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

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