Why 8 Was More Than Enough for the Bengals When It Came To Drafting Amarius Mims

Cincinnati Bengals director of college scouting Mike Potts details the path that led the team toward selecting tackle Amarius Mims in the first round.

CINCINNATI – An interesting question, but one that can never be answered, is where Amarius Mims would have been drafted had he started 16 games in college instead of just eight.

For the Cincinnati Bengals, eight was more than enough.

Bengals director of college scouting Mike Potts talked through the process of weighing the inexperience issue with the impressive tape when it came to ranking and eventually drafting the 6’8”, 340-pound right tackle from the University of Georgia.

Cincinnati Bengals Zeroed in on Amarius Mims Despite Inexperience

“We sift through every piece of information that we have,” Potts said. “Some of that stuff is reported out there publicly. But there’s hundreds of other things — positives, negatives — on every single player that we’ve sorted through.

“You can nitpick guys that are No. 1 overall, top five picks, every single guy has negatives,” Potts continued. “That’s part of our job, to evaluate the good parts of the players and the bad parts and piece it all together by talking to the sources at the college — all the coaches, all the staff members — and then interviewing the players face to face for a final evaluation and ranking on our draft board.”

As is the case with most players, including No. 1 pick Joe Burrow in 2020, the moment of clarity usually arrives from an in-person experience and not a specific rep on the game film.

Potts said with Burrow it was attending LSU’s 2019 game at Alabama and watching Burrow carve up the Crimson Tide defense.

The situation was a little different with Mims in that the Bengals had to wait out 17 other picks. And whereas the Burrow game was late in his college career, the light bulb moment for Mims occurred much earlier.


“I would say it was watching that Ohio State playoff game (in the 2022 season),” he said. “As a young, true sophomore, he’s out there playing in his first start of his career, shutting down some really impressive guys on the edge in a national semifinal.

“That’s really where he jumped out,” Potts added. “Even though it’s only his first start, there’s some rare attributes that he has. It’s not just traits. He’s a pretty polished product all together.”

Potts already was well aware of Mims before the Crimson Tide’s 42-41 victory against the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff semifinal.

Mims stood out on Potts’ stops in Athens, Ga., in the fall of 2021 and 2022.

“He’s a hard guy to miss when you first see him at practice,” Potts said. “I saw him three years ago during his true freshman year, and they’ve had a ton of first-round picks on the defensive line that he’s going against every day in practice.

“That’s also a piece of our evaluation that factors in, the live views that we have on the players and watching them against high-end guys that have been as high as No. 1 overall in the draft (Travon Walker) that he’s blocking in practice every day.”

The Bengals made Mims the fifth tackle taken in the draft, and most scouts believe he has the potential to outrank the previous four — Joe Alt, JC Latham, Olu Fashanu, and Taliese Fuaga — by the time their careers are over, if not sooner.

It might not be long before people forget that he only started eight games in college.

“It’s not just the eight games that he started, it’s the 30 or so games that he played in that we can view on tape,” Potts said. “His tape is really good, albeit a little sample size (compared) to some other prospects. But he’s a really good player both in pass protection and the run game.”

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