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2024 NFL Draft

Is Amarius Mims Too Much of a Risk for the Steelers?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in Georgia’s Amarius Mims, but are the questions too much to overcome?

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Georgia OT Amarius Mims

Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims is certainly an intriguing prospect with his massive size and extreme athleticism. The one big knock with him is his lack of experience, however. He started just eight games in college.

NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah does not see Mims as a guy who can start day one, and he might even fall to the second round.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic is on the same page as Jeremiah. He likes Mims’ upside, but if he needed a tackle tomorrow, he’s passing on him in the top 20.

“I think he’s more inexperienced than he is truly raw because I think there’s a lot of natural ability there. It’s just, but again, it does take a leap of faith when you’re talking about a guy with eight starts. But just the fact when you throw on the Ohio State game from last year and his first career start ever, and he was that good. I can’t eliminate that from my mind. And it’s like, okay, I want to bet on this in the right situation. If I need a tackle tomorrow, I’m not drafting him top 20,” Brugler said on The Athletic NFL podcast.

The 6-foot-7 3/4, 340-pound Mims certainly has the size and athleticism to be an elite offensive tackle. At the combine, Mims ran a 5.07-second 40-yard dash, an impressive time for that size.

As mentioned, the significant questions about Mims’ experience level and injury history are valid. After sitting behind Broderick Jones and others his first two seasons, playing in just two games as a sophomore, Mims played only six games due to injury in 2023, before declaring early for the draft.

The Steelers haven’t bothered to hide their interest in Mims, bringing him into the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for a pre-draft visit, sending general manager Omar Khan, head coach Mike Tomlin and others to his pro day in Athens, Georgia, and holding a formal interview with him at the 2024 NFL Combine.

The Steelers have drafted three former Georgia Bulldogs in the last two drafts — wide receiver George Pickens, offensive tackle Broderick Jones and tight end Darnell Washington. Mims very well could be the next product out of Athens to come to the Steel City.

Throughout his time at Georgia, he played all of 800 snaps in three seasons and accumulated just seven starts at right tackle. The reason for that was the depth in Athens, but also his inability to stay healthy. In September of 2023, he needed tightrope surgery to following an ankle injury against South Carolina. He also exited several games (Tennessee & Alabama) early due to getting banged up. 

Regardless of what the Steelers decide to do at the quarterback position, upgrades along the offensive line are necessary. With Dan Moore Jr. struggling last season, finding a partner for Broderick Jones should certainly warrant significant consideration. While Mims came to Georgia as a left tackle, all of snaps came on the other side which could create an avenue for Jones to shift back to his natural position. 

Ultimately, Mims is flushed with tools that you cannot teach at the position. He’s already a reliable pass protector and if he improves his consistency in the run game, he has a chance to be an impact player in the trenches. He’s not the most refined player at the moment but classifying him as raw would be doing him a disservice. Unfortunately, without a crystal ball, there’s no sure fire way of knowing that Mims will be durable enough to reach his high ceiling. 

All outcomes, both good and bad, are on the table for the former five-star prospect. Some team could take a swing inside the top-ten or he could fall to the late-first round range. Neither would be overly surprising. His talent is undeniable and given the positional value at hand, the Steelers are wisely doing as much homework as possibly on Mims.