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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Profile: Amarius Mims Possesses Sky-High Potential

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Target Georgia Tackle Amarius Mims
Georgia OT Amarius Mims

The Pittsburgh Steelers came into the offseason with several questions marks, with the trenches near the top of that list. After a disappointing playoff exit, it was overwhelming obvious that upgrades were necessary up front. As you’d expect, the organization is doing plenty of work on the top offensive lineman in this class, both on the interior and on the outside. One of those most naturally talented players in that group is Georgia Right Tackle Amarius Mims. Where does he stack up amongst his peers in a star-studded draft class full of potential starters at the next level?

Like the Steelers first-round pick in 2023 Broderick Jones, Mims is grateful for his time in Athens which helped prepare him for this moment. He explained, “They’ll teach you how to grow up and from the time I was there, I had to do that real quick and I’m very thankful for that.” He credited Kirby Smart’s approach in practice and the competition level for helping him get prepared at any early age. As one of the powerhouses of the college football landscape, Georgia is no stranger to pumping top-notch talent into the NFL. Mims did say that he has been in contact with his former Bulldog teammates, Jones and fellow Steelers tight end Darnell Washington, throughout the process.

Earlier in his career, Mims had the chance to line up beside Washington, who was often deployed on the line of scrimmage for blocking purposes. He gave a glowing recommendation to the media: “It made my job way easier if I’m being honest with you because I look beside me and this dude is my size.” But he did stop short of agreeing with the notion that Washington would be better suited as an offensive tackle. “I feel like he’s a tight end, man. He’s a very gifted and talented blocker but he’s a great tight end and that’s his position.”

As expected, Mims stated that he did meet formally with the Pittsburgh brass in Indianapolis before declaring himself 100% for the testing portion of the combine. On Sunday, he was in the process of putting up some gaudy testing numbers prior to a minor hamstring tweak, forcing him to cut his workout short without completing the agility tests. For obvious reasons, there has been a lot of discussion in Pittsburgh recently about offensive lineman having to switch sides or positions as a whole. Mims doesn’t see that as an issue. “I feel like regardless if you play right tackle or left tackle in college, you are a tackle. You have to be ready to play both because you never know what can happen.”

The reason so evaluators were bullish on Mims coming into the 2023 season stemmed from his jaw-dropping performance in the college football playoffs against Ohio State. I asked him about his preparation for what was the biggest test of his career to that point. “Honestly, coach talked to me before the game and told me that I was going to be starting, you look like you’re prepared, don’t do anything special. Like I said, I went to Georgia, they’re going to make sure that you’re prepared, they wouldn’t put you out there is you weren’t prepared and I just seized the moment and did what I did with the opportunity that I was given.”

The next step for Mims development in his eyes? “Just to perfect my craft as much as possible. Whatever organization drafts me, they’re going to get a guy that’s willing to come in and work hard from sun up to sun down.” The athletic gifts are glaringly obvious on tape but when you factor in his apparent willingness to improve, crafted by his environment in college, the sky is the limit for him.

Tale of the Tape:

Measured at the 2024 NFL Combine: 6-foot-7 3/4, 340 pounds, 36 1/8-inch arms, 11 1/4-inch hands, 86 3/4-inch wingspan.

At the Combine, Mims ran a 5.07 40-yard dash, with a 1.78 10-yard split time, both quantifiably elite marks. Additionally, Mims posted a 25 1/2 vertical jump and a 9-foot-3 broad jump.

Where Will Amarius Mims be Drafted?

Coming into the season, Mims was a player that many expected to rise up draft boards and is currently the #23 player on the consensus board. Even though he struggled to stay on the field, the combination of his tape and tools still have him firmly in that discussion. Because of the extremely small sample size, he’s a difficult player to project on the board. However, if the Steelers want him on their team, they’ll have to pull the trigger at pick 20 or potentially even trade up to acquire him.

Amarius Mims Scouting Report/How Does He Fit?

For an underclassmen without much game experience, Mims is surprisingly polished as a pass protector. He showcases plenty of foot speed with the ability to reach his landmarks in pass pro with relative ease. The Georgia tackle comes equipped with an incredibly long reach, big hands with noticeable grip strength. His strong base and frame help him anchor against power moves while also having enough solid redirection ability for counters.

Another thing to like about Mims tape is that he has a natural feel for stunts and games and his processing speed helps pass those off seamlessly. For his taller frame, he does show good knee bend and plays with proper leverage in the run game. He has a couple highlight-worthy blocks in the screen game, illustrating his athleticism in the open field. Both in pass pro and in the run game, Mims’ hand placement is regularly on point, which allows him to take advantage of his lower body leg drive. 

One of the few drawbacks to his near-herculean build is that his height occasionally works against him. His work in the run game, particularly at the second level, leave some to be desired because he’ll be too and narrow to sustain blocks. His targeting system and understanding of angles are a work in progress but will likely improve with time. When Mims was beaten in drop-back situations, it was usually a result of him oversetting and being a tick to shift his weight to close the door inside. 

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 would be wise to do as much homework as possibly on Mims. He figures to be a heavily discussed and somewhat polarizing prospect throughout this cycle.