NFL Draft prospects from all over the country are preparing to find out where they will compete for a spot in the NFL next season.
In Aggieland, seven prospects are on the verge of hearing their names called at the 2020 NFL Draft, which starts on Thursday night and ends on Saturday. Unlike most years, this year’s Draft will be held virtually, with each NFL team participating via Zoom.
Compared to the 2019 NFL Draft, which saw seven Aggies drafted, the 2020 NFL Draft class features a small selection of prospects to choose from, with several players at risk of going undrafted this weekend.
Here’s a look at where the draft experts expect Texas A&M prospects to be selected:
Justin Madubuike, DT
Headlining the draft class for A&M this season is defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, who has the potential to be a first round prospect on the interior of the defensive line. A junior during the 2019 season, Madubuike led the team in sacks and tackles for loss, finishing with 45 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and an interception.
Draft experts across the board project Madubuike to be selected in the mid to late second round. The highest projected selection for Madubuike came from Luke Easterling of USA Today, who put Madubuike at the 47th pick to the Atlanta Falcons in his mock draft. RJ White of CBS Sports selected Madubuike at pick 61 to the Tennessee Titans, stating in his post, “Day 2 brings the Titans a nice value on the defensive line in Madubuike, whose biggest impact early on will likely come in nickel as a disruptor on the interior.” Hardest on Madubuike was Walter Cheripinsky of Walter Football, who selected Madubuike in the third round at 98th overall to the New England Patriots.
Quartney Davis, WR
Outside of Madubuike, the next highly scouted prospects are the two wide receivers who declared early, Quartney Davis and Kendrick Rogers. Davis leads the way between the two, flashing pro potential in his junior season at A&M. Davis finished with 54 receptions for 616 yards and four touchdowns, including recording 82 and 81 yards against Auburn and Alabama respectively.
With the 2020 Draft filled with high quality receivers, most draft experts don’t expect Davis’ name to be called until later in the weekend. In a mock draft by USA Today’s Luke Easterling, Davis was selected in the sixth round at pick 203 by the New Orleans Saints, while CBS Sports’ RJ White projected Davis to be selected at pick 195 by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round. Meanwhile, Logan Lamorandier of Sports Illustrated projects Davis much higher than other draft experts, mocking him to the New Orleans Saints at pick 130 in the fourth round.
Kendrick Rogers, WR
Just behind Davis in draft projections is wide receiver Kendrick Rogers, who is borderline on whether we will be drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. In the 2019 season, Rogers finished with 30 receptions for 351 yards and two touchdowns, including an 83-yard performance against Lamar. Due to the talent at wide receiver this season, several draft experts, including White of CBS Sports and Lamorandier of Sports Illustrated, believe that Rogers will go through the entire draft without getting selected, while USA Today’s Luke Easterling projected Rogers will go in the seventh round at pick 226 to the Chicago Bears.
Braden Mann, P
The Aggie who will have the hardest time justifying a draft selection for reasons outside of his skill level is punter Braden Mann. In his four years at A&M, Mann has developed into one of the best punters in the country, winning the 2018 Ray Guy award after setting single-season records in punting average (50.98) and punts of over 60 yards (14). Mann followed that up in his senior season by posting a 47.11 net average and punting a long of 68.
Built as one of the best punters in the draft class, Mann’s biggest issue toward being drafted will be the limitation of the position. Punters are rarely drafted before the sixth round, if they are drafted at all. Because of this, most draft experts expect Mann to be drafted in the sixth or seventh round. White of CBS Sports has mocked Mann in the fifth round at the 166th pick to Detroit, replacing the recently departed Sam Martin, while Cherepinsky mocked Mann to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round.
Probable Undrafted Free Agents
For the other prospects at A&M, defensive backs Debione Renfro and Charles Oliver and offensive lineman Colton Prater, their journey into the NFL will most likely start as undrafted free agents. On a list of the 400 best draft prospects by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, Renfro qualified as the 42nd best safety prospect, ranked at an undrafted level, while both Oliver and Prater failed to make the list. Without a miracle, each of these prospects will fail to hear their names heard during the virtual draft.