Steelers must avoid this risky prospect in Round 1 of the NFL Draft

Amarius Mims is one of the most talented offensive line prospects in the draft, but he's far too risky for the Steelers to take at 20
Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Florida State
Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Florida State / Rich Storry/GettyImages

One of the most popular selections for the Steelers in mock drafts this year has been Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims. On the surface, Mims seems like a tremendous selection due to his size, athleticism, talent, and alma mater.

However, there are obvious red flags with Mims that must not be ignored and make selecting him in the first round of the NFL Draft a huge risk for the Steelers.

Amarius Mims lacks starting experience

Amarius Mims may be an extremely gifted offensive lineman, but there is not much tape to go off of at all at the college level. Mims has only started 8 games at the collegiate level, which is not much to go off of when selecting a player in the top 20.

While it is not all his fault that he only started 8 games, due to him playing at Georgia, and being forced to sit behind top prospects who were ahead of him, he does deserve some of the blame. The other reason he has such little experience starting at the collegiate level is due to an injury, which for someone of his size could be something for pro teams to worry about.

Mims is 6'8", 340 lbs., and presents all the upside to become one of the top offensive tackles in the entire NFL. If he becomes that in the next few years, nobody would be surprised, but at the same time, he's an extremely raw prospect, and also has a high chance of being a big swing-and-miss by whoever takes him.

While Mims likely will go in Round 1, he might have been better served to go back to college for another year, to get some more starts under his belt and develop his game a little more. The Steelers would be better served with a prospect with more experience than the uber-talented Mims, due to the risks. As for Mims, the best scenario for him may be to go to a team that doesn't need him to start right away and can get him to work with their offensive line coach to develop his game a bit more before being thrust into action.

If not Mims, then who should the Steelers be looking at

While Mims is too risky to select at 20 for the Steelers, that doesn't mean that offensive tackle shouldn't be a position that they are interested in looking at in Round 1.

The first round features a plethora of options at offensive tackle this year, and the talent drops off after the first round, so if the Steelers want one to start early on, they should look at the position early on. J.C. Latham, Taliese Fuaga, Tyler Guyton, Kingsley Suamataia, and Jordan Morgan are all players who are expected to go in the top 40 picks or so.

20 is likely too early for Suamataia, and many have Jordan Morgan pegged as a player who may have to kick inside at the next level, but the other three are players who could be on the Steelers' radar at pick 20 overall. Of the options Latham and Fuaga are the names I like most for the Steelers to look at, as they have high upside, but while it may not be as high as a player like Mims, they are also not nearly as risky.

However, it's also possible that the Steelers are on the board at 20, and all of the tackles they are interested in are already off the board. If that is the case the Steelers should look into trading back or addressing the center position. These are two options that the Steelers should be considering regardless of whether the tackles are on the board anyway, but if they are gone should look into even more.

Addressing the offensive line and building up through the trenches should be a major priority for the Steelers early in the draft this year. They need to address the center and offensive tackle positions but should steer clear of a risky prospect like Amarius Mims.