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Instant analysis of Bengals picking Amarius Mims in the first round

The Cincinnati Bengals stuck with a “protect Joe Burrow at all costs” approach in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft, selecting Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims at 18th overall.

Mims is about as predictable as it gets for a Bengals team that needs to reinforce right tackle. Jonah Williams left in free agency and new arrival Trent Brown has had attendance issues over the last few seasons.

It’s also predictable in the blueprint sense. The size listings of Mims (6’8″ and 340 pounds), Brown (6’8″ and 355) and Orlando Brown Jr. (6’8″ and 345) at left tackle are pretty uncanny.

It’s no secret Mims was one of the highest-upside tackle prospects in a deep class this year, with there being some inherent risk, too.

Though he only started eight games at Georgia, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared Mims to Donovan Smith, a two-time Super Bowl champion and long-running pro tackle:

Talented tackle prospect carrying a picturesque frame and exciting NFL traits. Mims plays with pretty good technique and is ahead of the game with hand placement. He has the size and bend to create movement and adequate athleticism to make blocks on the move, although he can be inconsistent in that area. He uses a two-hand punch that causes him to lunge forward a bit, but that should be correctable. 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.

Cincinnati’s very inconsistent history at developing offensive linemen will be a red flag for some fans given the fact Mims is such a developmental prospect.

But the fact Mims won’t be thrown to the fire as a rookie, perhaps at all, softens the blow and risk. This also follows the team’s continued habit of drafting major needs one year in advance, like they did with Dax Hill before Jessie Bates left.

There were some other talented prospects on the board, but it’s pretty hard to complain about the team’s top objective being the health of Burrow, especially with nine more picks to hit other spots.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire