Bengals rookie Mims learning all he can from two veteran tackles

CINCINNATI — Amarius Mims knows he has two veteran offensive tackles ahead of him on the depth chart as he begins his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he is approaching each day with the mindset he is competing for a job.

The Bengals’ rookie first-round draft pick plans to learn everything he can from left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and right tackle Trent Brown as he settles into the NFL.

Mims, who impressed in his limited eight starts at Georgia, won’t be satisfied just taking a backseat, though. He plans to apply everything they are teaching him to be ready for an opportunity whenever it comes.

“You have to,” Mims said. “Let the chips fall where they may when the season comes around, but I’m going to do everything in my power (to contribute). I’m just looking forward right now to learning from Orlando and Trent. ... I’ve got two of the best guys in the league to learn from so I’m just trying to take it day by day learning from those guys.”

Mims, the 6-foot-8, 340-pound tackle, has been spending lots of one-on-one time with Orlando Brown Jr. the past two-plus weeks since rookies got integrated with the full team during voluntary offseason workouts. Trent Brown, according to, has been away tending to a personal matter after participating in the early portion of the offseason program.

Mims had said from the day he arrived in Cincinnati he would be burying his nose in the playbook to get up to speed on the terminology and how the offense operates, and that remains the case. He keeps two notebooks to jot down notes in offensive line and/or rookie meetings and at home when he’s studying on his own.

“I take pride in knowing the playbook,” Mims said. “Being a young guy, the fastest way to get on the field is knowing the plays, and the quickest way to get off is not knowing. It’s my job. I’ve got to hone in on stuff like that.”

The main goal for Mims is just to develop consistency. He’s not focused on earning a starting job right away but if he shows consistency and is able to correct mistakes quickly, he envisions his game will “start rising.”

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Mims can look back at his college career and apply lessons he learned there going through a similar process. After dominating at the high school level, where he went from 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-7 in fives months between his freshman and sophomore years, Mims was somewhat surprised to learn he would have to climb the depth chart at Georgia.

Jamaree Salyer, a senior, was the team’s starting left tackle and redshirt sophomore Warren McClendon started at right tackle.

“You gotta be patient sometimes,” Mims said of what he learned from that experience. “Yeah, I came into a deep room, and you know, I was putting harder expectations on myself to play, but sometimes it doesn’t work like that. I just really had to sit behind Jamaree and Warren and those guys like that and just learn because, you know, I don’t have all the answers. So just learning from older guys, trying to get better.”

Mims had considered transferring after playing minimal snaps in seven games his freshman year when Georgia won the first of back-to-back national titles, but he decided to stay knowing that he was still taking a lot from practices with the Bulldogs, which he said were more difficult than games.

As a sophomore in 2022, Mims played in 12 games as a reserve, but McClendon ended up injured and Mims got his first two starts in the College Football Playoffs and that settled his spot for the following year when he was limited to six starts because of a “freak” ankle injury when someone rolled up on his lower leg. He tried to come back early but had to take himself out of the SEC Championship game.

With Trent Brown only on a one-year contract, the path already seems to be laid out for Mims to get his opportunities; however, the Bengals like that he won’t be rushed. He has time to develop and chances are he will be needed this year at some point.

Former Alabama coach Nick Saban, on ESPN’s live draft coverage, questioned Mims’ ability to transition to the NFL after such limited college experience.

“Everybody has their own opinions of me,” Mims said the day after he was drafted. “I try not to really, I don’t really care what he said or what he had to say, honestly. … I 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 you know, I’m just glad to be a Cincinnati Bengal.”

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