HOUSTON – There’s a certain level of expectation among prospects making the leap from the SEC to the pros. As a first grader, more is expected.
The Houston Texans used six of their nine picks for SEC product in the April draft — two of which made the first round. LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was the top pick at No. 3 overall, while Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green finished at No. 15.
Both Stingley and Green mentioned at the first press conference how playing in the SEC prepared them mentally and physically for life at the next level. New Texas offensive lineman AJ Cann can attest to that as well, especially in regards to the talent that’s on display in the trenches.
“A guy who gets drafted where Kenyon was is going to have a lot of expectations of him, but I just told him to do it day in, day out,” Cann said Tuesday after OTA practice. “Try to get better every day. You will expect a lot from him, but be who he is every day, and he is.”
Green is expected to fill the gap at left guard early on, thanks in large part to his success at College Station. Playing 35 games in three seasons, Green is a two-time All-American and has experience in four different positions on the offensive line.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio said he considers the 6-4, 325-pound lineman “probably more of an insider” but doesn’t mind seeing him fight for tackle reps in a pinch. A tackle by trade out of Atascocita High School in Humble, Green played all but five games during his aggie career.
Cann, a fellow Guard-turned and SEC graduate from South Carolina, characterized Green as a “humble, quiet kid” who wants to learn consistently. The hope is he will sneak in and help offload Pro Bowl tackle Laremy Tunsil at left while Cann comes up as a right guard in Week 1.
“He’s been working hard the last two weeks he’s been here,” Cann said. “I think he’s going to be a damn good player.”
Scroll to Next
One of the main reasons Green made sense to the Texans was his development as a run blocker. Over the past two years at Texas A&M, the Aggies have been one of the more physical running teams in the SEC. Fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers, Isaiah Spiller had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons averaging 5.5 yards per streak
Rising junior Devon Achane averaged seven yards per attempt last season, the highest of any player in the conference. Achane also pushed near the 1k mark, finishing with 910 yards and 130 carries.
Cann, who spent his first seven seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, already has an understanding of what new offensive line coach George Warhop is looking for in his unit. You have to be physical but also be a willing blocker through the whistle in running games.
“Every offensive line I’ve played with would say that about being as physical as possible in the running game,” Cann said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to.”
Green was considered by Scouts to be one of two guard candidates with a first-round consensus score. Boston College’s Zion Johnson was better known for his pass protection win rate, which made Green’s choice a more logical option for Warhop’s line.
Green returned for the second phase of the OTAs with the Texans beginning June 1. The Aggies open the season Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. against Sam Houston State.
Would you like to join the discussion? Click here to join the All Aggies message board community today!
Follow AllAggies.com on Facebook and Twitter!
Want more Aggies news? Catch the latest A&M news from Texas here