Packers Predicted to Draft Massive OT to Replace David Bakhtiari

Getty Offensive tackle Amarius Mims of the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Green Bay Packers could use another pure pass rusher or a cornerback with elite upside, but the David Bakhtiari-sized hole on the left side of the offensive line may take precedent in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN on Wednesday, April 10, released his updated mock that spans the first two rounds. In it, he predicted the Packers will select offensive tackle Amarius Mims out of the University of Georgia.

While it’s possible Rasheed Walker, a seventh-rounder in 2022, could be the long-term replacement for David Bakhtiari at left tackle in Green Bay, I’d take a tackle with upside here. Again, this is the draft in which teams should pursue a first-round tackle.

The 6-8, 340-pound Mims started just eight games in college, but he was excellent when he was on the field. Once he locks into edge rushers, they get swallowed up in his massive wingspan. He didn’t allow any sacks in his career. The Packers have an extremely young offense, and Mims would be another pillar to build around.

Amarius Mims Has Ceiling of a ‘Top Tackle in NFL’

The Dallas Cowboys are projected to take Georgia OL Amarius Mims

GettyFormer Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) dubbed Mims “one of the biggest winners of the NFL scouting combine.” Considering his measurable qualities, it isn’t hard to see why.

“Mims can sit in his stance and run to cover ground. He also has elite length for the position,” PFF analysts wrote on April 3. “While his physical potential is through the roof, he lacks experience. He played only 682 snaps over the past two seasons due to biding his time at a talented program and injury in 2023. He is a strong player who can maintain blocks well with good upper-body strength.”

Of course, Mims also has his pitfalls, one of which PFF identified as feet that are “a bit slow.” That said, the website still projects him as potentially a top tackle in the league someday if he can put everything together.

During [his] relatively limited playing time, Mims flashed incredible play, showing the upside of a top tackle in the NFL,” PFF continued. “[He] allowed a 1.5% pressure percentage during his time at Georgia and was the second-ranked tackle in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric in 2023.”

Packers’ O-Line Finished Ranked 11th in NFL, Will Navigate Significant Turnover Next Season

David Bakhtiari pittsburgh steelers

GettyFormer Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Green Bay finished just outside of the NFL’s top-10 offensive lines at No. 11 overall, according to PFF rankings. One of the chief issues revolved around the left tackle spot, which Mims would presumably fill were the Packers to draft him later this month.

Green Bay’s offensive line got off to a great start, but the group’s play dipped toward the middle of the season amid doubts about who should play at left tackle and a rotation between Rasheed Walker and Yosh Nijman,” PFF’s Zoltán Buday wrote on January 10. “However, once Walker regained his early-season form, Green Bay’s offensive line improved.”

Nijman is now with the Carolina Panthers after departing in free agency, while Green Bay released Bakhtiari saving more than $20 million in salary cap space via the move. The five-time All-Pro has not yet signed with a new team.

Jon Runyan Jr., a starting guard for the Packers over the past three seasons, also departed this offseason and is now a member of the New York Giants.

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