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Bengals Select OT Amarius Mims In First Round Of 2024 NFL Draft

Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) is shown aginst SOuth Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) is shown aginst SOuth Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Bengals went big in Thursday night's first round of the NFL Draft.

Really big when they secured massive Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims with the 18th pick and then placed the 6-foot-8, 340-pound junior behind the towering 6-8 bookends they already have at tackles in Orlando Brown Jr. on the left and Trent Brown on the right.

Still, when he was asked about having Joe Burrow as a teammate, the very large man felt little as he spoke to the Cincinnati media from his draft night party in Atlanta.

"Like a little kid, almost, just getting around somebody to look up to at quarterback," Mims said. "He was one of those guys, 'I would love to block for this guy, play with this guy.'

"Just watching Joe Burrow at LSU. I was like, 'Oh my God, I would like to block for him one day and now I have a chance to. It's a blessing. I just look forward to getting in and talking with him."

After signing the 10-year vet Brown to a one-year deal in free agency last month, the Bengals have the luxury of easing in Mims, generally regarded as one of the draft's top sleepers because he played only 803 snaps during his three years at Georgia.

As a freshman, Mims was a backup for the national champions and then the next season made his first two collegiate starts in the national semifinal and national title game. Last year he was limited to six starts with an injured ankle and made three of them in the final regular-season games when he returned from surgery.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said he believes Mims is more inexperienced than raw.

"He leans toward inexperience. They do a good job developing offensive linemen at Georgia," Taylor said. "They have a really good track record of developing guys that can come in and play."

Despite his shallow resume, the draftnicks rave about Mims. Although Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin prefers making picks he feels are solid doubles rather than warning track home runs, Ourlads' Scouting Services calls Mims a "swing for the fence type prospect."

"It looks like he was scientifically manufactured in an offensive tackle factory. Has an enormous frame in all directions with ideal weight distribution from top to bottom," the service wrote. "It is hard to find bad weight on him. The abrupt snap he shows out of his stance with proper bend and flat back with inside hands is textbook. The elite play-strength is already there … as there are several flashes of him moving defenders at all levels against their will."

NFL's Lance Zierlein basically calls Mims a project, but also says he's a first-round guy with upside as massive as his frame: "It is very rare to see him clearly beaten by a rusher, and he has the recovery talent to do something about it when it happens."

Out of Cochran, Ga., Mims, 21, came out of Bleckley County High School heralded from the start, ranked as the nation's No. 3 offensive tackle prospect and No. 7 prospect as well as the No. 1 prospect in Georgia.

Like Brian Callahan before him, Dan Pitcher's first pick as Bengals offensive coordinator is a tackle. But unlike the undersized Jonah Williams of 2019, Mims arrives in the huge mold of the two tackles in front of him who use their massiveness to keep the quarterback clean.He'll get a shot to play both sides as he gets his feet wet.

"The same reason we like Trent and Orlando. The Length. Just naturally. He has length and plays with tremendous length," Pitcher said. "He's 340, but he doesn't play like he's 340. He moves a lot better than what you expect. He stays in really good position. He's not affected by speed or bull. All the things you want to see out of a guy that size."

A big move. How big?

"Wait until you see him up here tomorrow answering questions," said Taylor of Mims' first appearance as a Bengal Friday at Paycor Stadium.


2024 NFL Draft

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