Watching the tape on these 2 OT prospects was no fun. Neither of them were impressive. Very frustrating to watch. Still, I imagine both will get drafted early, because NFL teams will like their size and athleticism and not worry about the details. As long as they have the basic physical attributes to be good NFL players, teams will believe that they can "coach them up" and fix their flaws. I decided to tackle them in a single fanpost, because I'm not a fan of either prospect.
Amarius Mims's Background
Name: Amarius Mims. Turns 22 years old in October of 2024.
School: Georgia. Sport management major.
Size: Listed 6'7'' tall, 340 pounds.
5 star recruit from GA. Sports Illustrated ranked him as the 13th best recruit in the country and compared him to Alex Leatherwood. At the time (Dec 2020), this was supposed to be a big compliment, because Leatherwood would be the 17th overall selection in the 2021 draft. Leatherwood was taken surprisingly early, then bombed with the Raiders. They moved him inside to RG after he struggled at RT, but he only had a 45.0 PFF grade as a rookie. After being waived by both the Raiders and the Bears, he's hanging on as PS player for the Browns. It is notable that Cleveland kept him on the PS and signed a PS guy from the Niners, Leroy Watson, who was a 2022 UDFA from UTSA, instead of promoting Leatherwood. Watson was inactive vs the Rams. If Mims turns out to be another Alex Leatherwood, any team drafting him in the 1st round should be wary.
Entered the transfer portal in April of 2022. He flirting with going to FSU, but decided to stay at UGA. He later said that he made an immature decision when he considered leaving. He was a backup in 2022, then when Warren McClendon got injured, Mims made the first 2 starts of his career in the playoff games vs Ohio State and TCU.
Made 5 starts in 2023. Early in the season, another player crashed into his lower leg from the side. He had tightrope surgery on his left ankle for a high ankle sprain. He returned to action later in the season, but then he injured his right ankle vs Alabama in SEC title game.
Due to being a backup and his 2023 injury, Mims has only started 7 games in college. One of the difficult parts of trying to evaluate Mims is there just isn't much useful game tape.
Josh Edwards mock draft 14th overall selection (by the Rams), 23rd overall on his board
PFN 21st (their analysts rank him 22nd, 22nd and 34th)
Steve Shoup 28th
Shane Hallam mock draft 13th overall
Ian Cummings mock draft 13th overall
Very tall with NFL body mass. Similar to a WR who is a height, weight and speed specimen, he has uncommon footspeed for a player his size, so that odd combination by itself is probably why he was such a highly ranked recruit and why draft experts like him so much.
Athletic relative to his huge size. Good range on screen passes to get downfield. Good reflexes.
Worked on his body. He said he lowered his body fat from 25% to 17%.
Has a good kick slide. Smooth kick with feet properly spaced. Solid COD in pass pro.
Really good stance engaging in pass protection. Able to completely stuff and lock up pass rushers at times. Patient and doesn't overreact to the initial pass rush move.
Has some hip snap coming off the ball into double team blocks. Can crush DBs blocking in space. Collects pancakes downfield.
About a year younger than an average prospect. Very inexperienced. Could substantially improve with more coaching and game experienced. Injury robbed him of valuable experience in 2023.
Plays too high. Poor pad level. Doesn't have good knee bend or flexibility. Base narrows. Can't bend over on combo blocks. Can get ripped down after engagement. Lacks body control going to 2nd level. Average change of direction ability in space. Completely whiffed on LB at 2nd level.
Slow reloading hands. Doesn't play with quickness and twitch. Passive hands. Loses hand fights, causing him to lose control of the block.
Arms appear to be short relative to his towering height.
Hunches over on both run and pass blocks.
Unable to generate movement on solo blocks heads up. Doesn't generate good power drive blocking to move defenders on zone blocks, limited leg drive. Poor combo blocker. Average aggression and physicality.
Slow processing on the field. Poor awareness. One pass pro snap, he ends up standing in the front of the pocket, lost in space, not blocking anyone and not helping any of the other OL. Basic loop, RT has plenty of time to see looper coming and prepare, but he lunges and whiffs. Mental mistake turns free runner loose to QB. Slow to adjust his blocking assignment. Faked out by DL stunts. MLB fakes blitz, distracting RT, who doesn't see DT looper coming around, allowing DT to push past him and get into pocket. The DE and LB exchange gaps vs run, RT doesn't adjust, allowing the LB to run past him and nearly get TFL. After RT's primary assignment runs past him on a running play, RT doesn't look for work, he just stands in one spot for nearly 3 full seconds, 100% clueless as to what to do next, not doing anything productive. Basic run play, he completely blows his assignment, like he doesn't know the playbook, then instead of just blocking the first free defender he sees, he stand in space confused, watching and blocks nobody.
Multiple times, he rolled forward slightly out of his stance prior to the snap, but no penalties were called. Helmet sometimes too far back off LOS before snap.
Gets lazy and complacent on the field. Against lower level of competition, he plays down to their level, doesn't dominate. Immature in interviews.
When Warren McClendon was in the draft, I thought he was a bad prospect. He struggled down at the Senior Bowl. I didn't view him as a draft worthy prospect. McClendon hasn't looked good in his limited action with the Rams. He had a miserable 38.2 PFF grade in the preseason. He got a few snaps as an injury replacement, but IMO he didn't look like he belonged even in those few reps. He has a 44.9 grade in the regular season. Mims was McClendon's backup in 2022. That's concerning to me. How does a 1st round draft prospect in his 2nd year in college end up lower on the depth chart than a guy who maybe should have been an UDFA?
I feel that he should be more polished and consistent by this stage in his development. Why isn't he better?
4th round grade.
I think Mims has big bust potential if taken in the 1st round. He's not a particularly good player right now, which gives off an "underachiever" vibe, considering that he's a former 5 star recruit. He's a developmental project. It is true that NFL teams take chances on players like this every year and sometimes those gambles turn into jackpots. In general, I don't like these types of draft prospects, which is why I don't have a super high grade on Mims.
I view Mims almost 100% the opposite of how I bet most NFL teams see him. I'd consider drafting him to be a swing backup OT, basically to play the same role Warren McClendon is supposed to be handling for the Rams. If Mims became more than that, it would be a nice bonus, but I wouldn't invest a 1st round pick on him and expect him to be top flight OT.
Patrick Paul's Background
Name: Patrick Paul. Turns 24 years old in November of 2024. Nicknamed "Pato". 5th year redshirt junior.
School: Houston. Graduated with degree in retailing and consumer science. Team captain in 2022 and 2023.
Size: Listed 6'7'' tall, 315 pounds.
3 star recruit from Houston. Brother of Chris Paul, a 7th rd pick by the Commanders in 2022. He was 5'6'' tall and played DL as a HS freshman. Grew 9 inches in one year. Had zero scholarship offers going into his senior season. Switched from DL to OL his final season in HS, chose Houston over Tulsa.
Redshirted in 2019. Listed at 330 pounds in 2019. Lost weight and reduced body fat, listed at 305 in 2020. Had a torn ligament in his foot and a high ankle sprain in 2020, had tightrope surgery. Starting LT in 2021 (14 starts), 2022 (13 starts) and 2023. Also has ST experience on FG kicking unit.
Dana Holgorsen was fired in late November 2023, Houston had a 4-8 record this season. They were 90th in the country in scoring offense.
PFF 51st overall
PFN 118th (analysts rank him 100, 132 and 157, the lowest ranking would be a 5th round pick)
Josh Edwards 40th
Steve Shoup 89th
Ian Cummings mock draft 50th
So most experts have him as a Day 2 pick, either 2nd or 3rd round, though a couple boards only see him as a Day 3 prospect.
Played against Payton Turner and Logan Hall in practice at Houston.
Athletic. Able to mirror and stop quick pass rush moves, such as spins. Plays with balance in space. Mobile. Has some short area quickness.
Massive frame. Appears to have very long arms. One article said he has arms over 36'' long.
Has physical tools that get players drafted early. You might remember a prospect from Houston named Josh Jones, who was an early 3rd round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2020. Jones has mostly struggled in the NFL, though he had a surprisingly high 75.8 PFF grade in 2022. Otherwise, he's graded in the 40's for the rest of his career. He played both G and T for Arizona, but when he failed to win a starting spot in camp and preseason in 2023, Arizona decided to dump him in a trade with the Texans. I'm not sure off the top of my head which of the 2 is better, but Paul's physical and athletic measurements probably will come out better than Jones's.
Plays with good effort.
Positive and playful personality, professional answers in interviews.
Footwork is a crazy mess. Poor pass sets, false steps, spacing and order of steps all over the map. Poor footwork entering 2nd level blocks. Come off combo block at wrong angle to get to LB.
Poor footwork results in his base not being established upon initial engagement in pass set, leading to balance problems. Gets beat both outside and by inside counters. Feet sometimes stop or get sluggish in pass pro, then defenders run around him like he's a traffic cone.
Thin lower half, lacks mass and thickness in legs. Below average upper body strength.
Plays with poor knee bend. Anchor is questionable and shaky in pass pro.
Below average recovery ability, inhibited by balance issues. Lunged and fell forward on run block.
Hands start very wide and low, similar to how Greg Robinson pass blocked at Auburn. Sloppy and wild hand placements. Hugs defenders and clotheslines them. Allows DL to explode into his chest. Poor hand placements even on very simple and easy blocks.
Late to punch, tends to catch the DE with weak hand placements. Clamp technique results in lifting jersey off opponent's shoulder pads. Against DT on twist, beaten by basic stab and swim combo.
Plays with shorter effective length than whatever his measured arm length might be. Has poor grip strength and not able to generate torque.
Frequently he's slow out of his stance off the snap, giving opponent a head start and forcing him to try to play catch-up.
Active, but not physical or nasty. Lacks effective play strength. No pop in his blocks, has a finesse style of play. Got badly overpowered and shed heads up on GL run play. Creased inside on runs.
Too slow running on screens.
Not fast scanning with his eyes, doesn't adjust his blocking assignment quickly.
Helped out by simplistic spread scheme offense and lower level of competition in 2022.
About 1.5 to 2 years older than a normal draft prospect.
Very similar conclusion for both Mims and Paul. I have substantial doubts about whether Paul can develop into a good NFL starting OT. Maybe he could slide inside and play G for a zone blocking team. Otherwise, I'd draft him with the same expectation as Mims, to be a swing backup OT, not with the idea for him to be a developmental starter.