Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims will forego his remaining eligibility and declare for the 2024 NFL Draft, he told ESPN. In a final collegiate season limited by injury, Mims played in seven games at right tackle for the Bulldogs but missed Georgia's 63-3 win over No. 5 Florida State in the Orange Bowl to cap the year. 

Mims was a Preseason All-SEC First Team selection at right tackle despite limited starting experience and anchored Georgia's offensive line in the first two games of the season. He suffered an ankle injury in the conference opener against South Carolina that required surgery and caused him to miss six weeks. He returned Nov. 11 against Ole Miss but aggravated his injury in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, prompting him to shut things down from there. 

"The first thing on my mind was, 'Did I play enough?' Mims told ESPN. "I felt like after I got back late in the year, I took a step forward with my play, as Tennessee and Georgia Tech were the two best games I played this year."  

Mims played in a total of 30 games over three seasons with the Bulldogs, but he spent most of his time as a reserve until Georgia's run in the 2022 College Football Playoff. Mims started in his team's semifinal win against Ohio State due to an MCL injury to normal starter Warren McClendon and was back on the field for Georgia's national championship game rout of TCU

Mims' draft stock

The 2024 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded with elite offensive tackle prospects, but Mims projects right up there with the best. He might be the No. 4 tackle in CBS Sports' 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, behind the likes of All-Americans Olu Fashanu and Joe Alt, but he's No. 13 overall on the big board -- putting him well within the early first round conversation. 

CBS Sports' Josh Edwards projected Mims to the Green Bay Packers with the No. 12 pick in his latest mock draft. 

"Green Bay made the move from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love over the past year. The next big change is swapping out David Bakhtiari for Amarius Mims." Edwards wrote

The primary concern with Mims is his limited playing time. He didn't become a full-time starter until 2023 and even then he was only able to start six games. He has just eight starts in his entire career. But a 6-foot-8 and 330-pound frame is alluring and he's shown some elite traits in his finite opportunities; Mims has allowed just five pressures with zero sacks in 365 total pass block snaps. 

What it means for Georgia

Mims is an immense talent -- literally -- but offensive line losses don't seem to bother Georgia too much. The Bulldogs had both of their starting offensive tackles drafted in 2023 and still boasted one of this year's best offensive lines, with Mims and co. stepping in seamlessly despite the attrition. 

But it would be a big boon for Kirby Smart's squad if another draft declaration goes their way. Xavier Truss, a 6-foot-7 behemoth that started at right tackle when Mims was out this season, has one year of eligibility remaining if he wants to return. There's no question that he would fill the void left by Mims, but he has been in college for five years now and might be ready for something new. 

Fourth-year junior Chad Lindberg doesn't have much starting experience but he has played in well over 20 games and has been around the program for long enough to have an impact if Truss follows Mims. The Bulldogs have some intriguing younger options, including a pair of former top-100 prospects in true freshmen Monroe Freeling and Bo Hughley, and an offensive line class with four four-star prospects coming in for the 2024 season.

The transfer portal is always an option if Georgia wants some experience, as well. Suffice to say, UGA won't lack options when it comes to replacing Mims, though Truss is an apparent successor and his potential departure could create a bit of a puzzle for the staff to figure out.