2024 NFL Draft Review: One pivotal rookie for each team in the AFC North

These 2024 NFL Draft selections could be the difference in a competitive AFC North.
Michigan's Roman Wilson
Michigan's Roman Wilson / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Cincinnati Bengals– OT Amarius Mims (Round 1– Pick 18)

With more emphasis on protecting franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals selected Amarius Mims with the No. 18 overall pick in the draft. Described as a “rare-sized athlete” by Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, Mims will get to learn behind both Orlando Brown and Trent Brown while adding depth at the position.

Projected as the team’s long-term solution at right tackle, Mims is a pivotal rookie simple because the team can’t really rely on Trent Brown to be available or locked in for all season long.  While Brown has proved he can be a force on the offensive line, he has also proved to be unreliable at times when it comes to his health.

That would put the Georgia product in the mix sooner rather than later especially since he’s already getting first-team reps in OTAs while Brown attends to personal matters.  Speaking of OTAs, the 6-foot-8, 350-pound tackle is already bringing the energy and getting even bigger.

“I feel like I’m getting broader,” Mims said following OTAs on May 28.  “The coaches like me at 350, so I’ll play at 350.  I feel good.  I’m taking care of my body.  I adjusted last week.  This week I’m not asking as many questions.”

While Mims is learning and gaining that upper body strength, he could end up being a big and important piece in the offense as the Bengals goal is stabilizing that offensive line so Burrow and the running game could feast in 2024.