HOUSTON– Texas A&M Offensive linemen and the first round of the NFL draft. There’s something that just sounds right.
Lucky for the Aggies, Kenyon Green ended the five-year drought last month in the middle of the 2022 NFL Draft. He will also remain as the newest member of the near-home team Houston Texans.
Green, A&M’s top contender drafted since Myles Garrett in 2017, is hoping to become the next big name in Aggie’s history at the professional level. The Texans are hoping he’ll fight for first-team representatives from the start, either as a left guard or right tackle.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fischer knows firsthand what the all-round offensive lineman can do in the trenches. He watched him go from Atascocita to one of the best players he’s ever coached for three seasons.
“He’s extremely talented, but he also has all these intangibles that make a great player and a great teammate and a great person,” Fisher said at the Houston Touchdown Club event earlier this month. “You combine that with great physical ability and you have a great player and the (Texans) have that.”
When Fisher left Florida State to become the Aggies’ next head coach, he was tasked with building a recruiting class from the ground up. One of A&M’s biggest expectations was to hire local talent across the state to stem the tide of prospects leaving for high-level programs at conferences like LSU and Alabama.
Green was the second big name to pledge his name to A&M’s 2019 recruit class, behind only Converse Judson defenseman DeMarvin Leal. Leal was the second A&M player selected in the 2022 draft and heard his name from the Pittsburgh Steelers number 84.
Fisher has never shied away from starting with freshmen’s first week when that’s the best option. That was the case with Green, who joined A&M in June and started the first-team offense a week later.
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“He started from the day he got here,” Fisher said. “He’s very talented, but as gifted as he is, that’s the least thing[about him]. It’s his character, his intelligence, his work ethic, all the intangibles.”
Fisher said that one of Green’s most important characteristics is his hand size and placement. Behind the 39-inch hands is a 325-pound lineman who stabilized the Aggies’ fast attack for three seasons with a combination of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane.
Hand size isn’t everything, but it’s a physical trait that bodes well for Green among the pros. Fisher is mostly confident it will give his former offensive lineman one “final nudge” to protect quarterback Davis Mills from the onslaught.
“You have a physical guy who’s 6ft 4 and weighs 325 pounds who can play guard or tackle because he’s got an 83-inch wingspan,” Fisher said. “That (span) is like most tackles — guys who are 6ft-6 or 6ft-7. A lot of guys can (just) block you, but he can move the big guys and he’s athletic enough to block the skill guys.”
Time will tell if Green has a better track record than the previous four linemen who were first-round selected over the past decade. Only Jake Matthews of the Atlanta Falcons remains with the team that picked him. Luke Joeckel is out of the league while Cedric Ogbuehi and Germain Ifedi are backups.
The talent is there for Green. Likewise the chance. For Fisher, that’s enough to bet on the positives and his future with the Texans.
Fisher said, “He ticks all the boxes. You combine that with great athletic ability and you have a great player. I would be shocked if he didn’t have an incredible career in professional football.”