18 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Texas A&M Aggies 2021 NFL Draft Preseason Guide

Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond (11) runs for a 67-yard touchdown run during the fourth quarter of the Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, in Houston.

I love the SEC and Saturday’s in the southeast during college football season. There is no better conference in America when it comes to college football than the SEC. The rich tradition of the league and the list of stars that have come from this league that changed the game of football and the way that it was played and coached.

Let’s kick this off with a little run-through of some of those names. The coaches are legendary, from Paul William “Bear” Bryant, Pat Dye, and Johnny Majors to Urban Meyer and Nick Saban, this conference has seen coaches that changed the game forever.

Its player’s history is extremely rich too. From Peyton Manning to Herschel Walker, to Bo Jackson and Julio Jones, national championships and thousands of players that have moved on to play in the NFL. The prestige surrounding the conference is incredible, and it makes our Saturdays better in the long run of the fall and winter months.

Every season, there are NFL prospects lined up in large numbers looking to make an impact on the future NFL. The game that they love, that they have given so much for and pursued an almost impossible dream is becoming a reality for many of these players. This, to me, is one of the biggest things that really makes this game special.

Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012 with Missouri, leaving the Big 12 where they had really struggled to dominate. It’s been the home of some seriously good players since joining the SEC, like Johnny Manziel, Myles Garrett, and Mike Evans.

Clearly, the thought process was to attract bigger recruits to the school by swaying the SEC Conference as a recruiting pitch, and it has so far not really paid off. They won 10+ games once since joining the SEC, the inaugural 2012 season, and have hit the 9 win mark twice since then, never really being able to take the next step forward in the conference with a clean sweep.

Who Texas A&M lost from last season

Now entering year three with one of the top head coaches in the nation, Jimbo Fisher, the media pundits are beginning to predict a mass rise from Texas A&M this season, saying that all of the tools are in place to do so now. They really didn’t loose any serious weapons from last season either, which does help their case.

Of course, there was defensive tackle Justin Madubuike who went pro. He is a gap penetrator, someone who is more effective as a pass rusher than he is as a run stopper. The Ravens selected him in the third round.

The Jets selected in the sixth round Braden Mann, who was arguably the best punter prospect to come out in several years. Mann has an incredible cannon for a leg, and controls his punts very well.

Receivers Quartney Davis and Kendrick Rogersboth went undrafted, but take a lot of production in the receiving game to the pros with them.

The prospects this season

All of that being said, the Aggies are still pretty damn structurally sound. The impact players that they were able to retain have been impacting players for quite some time in the system, and that presents a level of hope that is unprecedented.

Here are the ten prospects that you need to know about on the Aggies roster currently.

QB Kellen Mond (Sr)

#11 | 6’2″ | 210 lbs | IMG Acadamy (San Antonio, Texas)

Kellen Mond enters his third full season as a starter. He’s been the Texas A&M quarterback since he was a freshman, playing in 11 games while starting 8. Entering this season, Mond has a chance to boost his NFL Draft stock to very high levels. He and Johnny Manziel are the only two quarterbacks in school history to throw for 7,000 yards and run for over 1,000 yards in their career.

Mond has several positive things down to a pat, which is good. His footwork in the pocket is solid and active. He has a quick release and a good arm that allows him to push the ball where it needs to go. I saw that Mond flashes the ability to throw with touch, but mostly fires high-velocity throws.

Do you want to talk about a guy who is very tight in the pocket? Mond looks extremely nervous at all times, playing very “rigid.” He has a little bit of a natural hunch to him and doesn’t stand tall in the pocket at all. In fact, his stance normally has his legs bent at his knees at about a 75-degree angle. That’s not healthy.

Mond’s accuracy is extremely spotty, mostly because I think that he’s trying to force the football out of his hands faster. It’s not pretty, and he doesn’t deal too well with pressure. I like some of the tools from him and his game, but for the most part, Mond is an athletic quarterback who has inconsistencies with his arm talent right now, and is (at best) a late round pick.

Grade: Project (Uncertain Future).

WR Jhamon Ausbon (Sr)

#2 | 6’1″ | 215 lbs | IMG Acadamy (Houston, Texas)

Jhamon Ausbon has been a high impact player since he stepped onto campus at Texas A&M. Named to the 2017 Freshman All-SEC team, Ausbon has been in the starting role since he was a freshman. He missed 4 games in 2018 due to injury, but he started all 13 games last season and served as a team captain throughout the season.

Ausbon is a nifty route-runner with some seriously good footwork. I don’t think he will wow anyone with his forty-yard-dash time, but his quickness and body control is impressive. He has good, consistent hands, but isn’t entirely capable of incredible catches all of the time.

I think that Ausbon will always be limited by his lack of real speed, and will always have to be more technical. As a result, teams will want to use him more as a #2 receiver, so he might not have as successful of a professional career as he has had collegiately.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-Up).

OT Dan Moore (Sr)

#65 | 6’4″ | 310 lbs | West Brook (Beaumont, Texas)

Dan Moore enters his third season as a starter, with 27 career starts to his name. He hasn’t missed a game in two seasons, and was given the Sophomore Academic Award following his work in the teams 2018 annual banquet.

Moore is extremely strong and plays with a very low pad level for someone as big as he is. He’s also very technically sound, displaying an elite level of quickness and anchor. I saw good bend from him as well as he dealt with stronger pass rushers that challenged him a little bit more. His handwork is also very good, as I’ve seen him deal with more advanced levels of attacks and he handles the punches and swings with absolute grace.

The one thing that I think he needs to improve on is overall consistency. Part of the issue is that while he is good at fending attacks, his hand placement isn’t great, and that allows the defender to have a little more impact than he is suppose to have. I think Moore will have a good career in the league though.

Grade: Low Impact (Future Starter)

OT Carson Green (Sr)

#54 | 6’5″ | 305 lbs | Carroll (Southlake, Texas)

Carson Green enters his third full season as a starter, with 30 career starts in his career at tackle. Green was honored at the team’s annual banquet last season with the Offensive Attitude and Offensive Strength Awards and is primed to be one of the leaders on this team in 2020.

Green is an excellent pass-blocking right tackle prospect. He has an excellent drop, very solid footwork while in his drop, and anchors extremely well. I see almost flawless recovery skills from Green as well, as he is athletic enough to move very well when he starts to get beat outside.

I think if he’s susceptible to anything, it’s a swim move coming back inside aftr he sets to the outside. He doesn’t want to get beat around the edge, and he will give up moves to the inside as a result. Between that and his shaky run-blocking, I think that this is a future starter in the right scheme, I’m just not sure if he will ever get there.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-Up).

IDL Bobby Brown (Jr)

#5 | 6’3″ | 305 lbs | Lamar (Arlington, Texas)

Bobby Brown has been a phenomenal prospect thus far, playing in all 26 games since he arrived on campus and making 11 starts last season. He was named to the All-SEC Freshman team in 2018, and was the Defensive Top Newcomer at the teams annual banquet that season.

Brown is more of the space-eating run stuffer that is becoming increasingly popular across the league. He has a very large body and is difficult to contain because of his combination of size and strength.

That being said, smaller offensive linemen are able to get lower than him and dominate him in the trenches with proper technique, and he doesn’t have a way to shrug off that. His tackle angles aren’t great, and he misses a lot of run plays that he should make.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-up).

EDGE Michael Clemons (Rs-Sr)

#91 | 6’4″ | 260 lbs | Sachse (Garland, Texas)

Michael Clemons started as a JUCO prospect in 2016 at Cisco Junior College, and was a PrepStar Top-100 player. Clemons has appeared in 24 career games between 2017 and 2019, having redshirted in 2018, and has made 9 starts in his career. He missed the Ole Miss and Mississippi State games last season due to injury.

Clemons is the bigger body on the line, and has good core strength. He’s owns a nasty rip move that he uses pretty well, especially when getting off of a block for a run play.

That being said, Clemons has average burst, quickness, and athleticism. I think that he’s limited by his athletic profile. He can be a suitable back-up for sometime, but I don’t think that he will see too much of an NFL career.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-Up).

EDGE Tyree Johnson (Rs-Jr)

#3 | 6’3″ | 245 lbs | St. Johns College (Washington, DC)

Tyree Johnson has appeared in 25 career games, and made 10 career starts, over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was an All-SEC Freshman team member in 2018, and he earned the Defensive Strength Award last season at the teams annual banquet.

Johnson flashes the flexibility at the outside EDGE, playing both defensive end in a 4-3 (down) and playing outside linebacker in the 3-4 (upright) in the Aggies scheme. He has good quickness and was used in multiple aspects of the game, including dropping into coverage and as a pass rusher.

The thing about Johnson right now is that he’s too small to play defensive end in the NFL, and when he’s still susceptible while in coverage. Johnson also isn’t too keen at getting off of blocks and struggles to dominate against tight ends. There are things to like, but overall I don’t see him making much of an impact in the NFL.

Grade: Low Priority (UDFA).

CB Myles Jones (Sr)

#10 | 6’3″ | 180 lbs | Magnolia West (Magnolia, Texas)

A tall, lanky cornerback, Myles Jones has appeared in 39 career games at Texas A&M and made 13 starts. He was named the Most Improved Defensive player at the teams annual banquet, and also earned himself the Defensive Strength Award last season.

The NFL has shifted dramatically in favor of the tall, lanky cornerbacks over the last several years following both the success of the Seattle Seahawks and the growth of taller receivers in the NFL. For the reason alone, I believe that there will be a lot of interest in Jones. He’s a smart, instinctive zone boundary corner.

Jones isn’t nearly fast or athletic enough to be a truly effective cornerback in the NFL. I think he suffers a bit from heavy feet, and will be limited schematically in the league.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-Up).

CB Elijah Blades (Sr)

#2 | 6’1″ | 180 lbs | Muir (Pasadena, California)

Elijah Blades is a JUCO transfer entering his second season at Texas A&M. Blades appeared in 7 games last season, making 2 starts, and missed the last 3 games o the year due to an injury. He was an explosive return threat at Arizona Western Community College, and he positively impacted the games against bigger opponents with big plays and production.

Blades is a very physical, disciplined cornerback. He shows a very strong level of understanding of what he was being asked to do and sticking true to his assignment. He’s much stronger than his size would suggest, and he shows good athleticism as well.

I think Texas A&M ran the zone coverage as much as they did to try and mask the lack of speed in the secondary. Blades isn’t the fastest man either, and I don’t think he would be very effective in man coverage. There is promise there, but a healthy, strong season would confirm it for me.

Grade: Future Impact (2+ Years Back-up).

S Leon O’Neal (Jr)

#9 | 6’0″ | 205 lbs | Cypress Springs (Cpyress, Texas)

Leon O’Neal has yet to miss a game with the Aggies, appearing in all 26 games and making 10 starts last season. O’Neal was mostly a special teams player in 2018, but stepped up into a bigger role during the 2019 season and looked every bit of the part.

I believe that O’Neal is more of a pass-coverage threat than he is as a run defender. The thing to take away from his tape is that he’s still raw, and I wouldn’t expect him to come out this season unless he just makes ridiculously good strides. He’s got a decent motor, he’s rangy and athletic. O’Neal was also solid as a tackler, showing good pursuit and good wrap up technique.

The thing that really makes me hesitate with O’Neal is the fact that he’s often out of place and doesn’t show good instincts. For someone that I am considering putting in the deep end of my secondary, I want him to be rangy and athletic, but also recognize the play and his assignment. O’Neal got better as the season progressed, but he gave up a lot of big plays because he was out of position.

Grade: Project (Uncertain Future).

Texas A&M Aggies 2021 NFL Draft Projections

The Texas A&M Aggies have quite the season ahead of them. There is no doubt that the team is laced with talent across the board. They are a very talented but very raw team right now. Coach Jimbo Fisher has quite the task ahead of them to get them primed to play the strenuous schedule of having LSU, Alabama, and Auburn all on the road.

Jhamon Ausbon could be the first Aggie off of the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. He needs to have a fantastic season, but he has an excellent chance to really confirm everything that we have seen on tape from him and match it with elite-level production.

I think Bobby Brown is about to have a very good year too. He’s trimming some weight to try and be more versatile and athletic. He had flashed bits of athleticism last season, mostly showing promise as his size was a limiting factor.

Don’t forget about Kellen Mond. Experience in invaluable in the SEC, and Mond enters his fourth season as the Aggies starter. If he puts together an impressive season, Mond could find his name being called on Draft Day.

Grades:
Low Impact (Future Starter)
OT Dan Moore

Future Impact (2+ Years Back-Up)
WR Jhamon Ausbon^
OT Carson Green
IDL Bobby Brown^
EDGE Michael Clemons
CB Myles Jones
CB Elijah Blades

Project (Uncertain Future)
QB Kellen Mond^
S Leon O’Neal ^

Low Priority (UDFA)
EDGE Tyree Johnson

^Denotes prospect has more than a 50% chance of elevating his grade during the 2020 season.

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