Bengals’ Amarius Mims responds to Nick Saban’s comments during NFL draft

Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Amarius Mims had his fair share of critics during the 2024 NFL draft before the team made him the 18th overall selection.

Nick Saban was a big one of those.

Appearing on ABC’s draft coverage, Saban had this to say about Mims after the Bengals made the pick, according to 247Sports’ Mike Rodak: “This guy’s got all the tools — he’s got great size, he’s got great power. … But it makes you wonder, how did the guy only start 8 [games?] Like, in the SEC championship game, he played only the first 15 plays of the game and then he’s out. Takes himself out. I don’t know what he injured, what he hurt, whatever. But you’ve got to be a little bit more consistent in your performance if you’re going to be a great player and a starter in the National Football League.”

Saban went on to question whether Mims developed the habits to play against guys who are up to his level of competition after playing at a small high school.

The sharp criticism of Mims isn’t exactly uncommon, mostly because Mims had trouble staying on the field at Georgia. Given the quality of his tape when he was on the field, had he played more snaps, he might not have lasted until 18th overall.

As for Mims, though, he took the high road, saying that he saw the comments but didn’t want to get into it, according to Laurel Pfahler of the Dayton Daily News: “Like I said, I don’t really know too much. I’ve got a lot of respect for coach Saban, even when he said that. He’s one of the greatest college head coaches. Like I said, it is what it is, but I’m just glad I’m a Cincinnati Bengal.”

That’s about as mature of a response as anyone could ask for from a college player on the biggest night of his career to date and, indeed, shows a level of focus that probably appealed to the Bengals in the first place.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire