'06 NFL Draft Watch: Texas A&M

Playing in one of college football's toughest divisions, the Aggies moved back into a New Year's Day bowl last year and hope to improve this season. Most of the important pieces return and several Aggies could move into the draft's first day with good campaigns in 2005.  

Scouting the Big 12: Texas A&M 

One of the strongest arms in the nation; quarterback Reggie McNeal is an athletic signal-caller tough to stop when on his game.  Immediately getting the ball out of his hands, McNeal easily gets the pass downfield or zips the outs.  Displaying a good sense of timing, McNeal is patient and buys time for receivers, hitting wide outs as they exit breaks.  He also has the ability to pick up yardage carrying the ball and is tough running up the field.  Yet with that, McNeal needs to improve the mental intangibles of his game.  Not adverse to throwing the ball into coverage, he stares down primary targets and misses open receivers on the field.  Highly rated by NFL scouts, McNeal presently sits as a late first day pick yet his draft grade completely depends on the results of his senior season and post-season showings.  A&M offers four potential skill prospects.  Senior DeQawn Mobley is a consistent pass catcher who nicely adjusts to the throw running full speed and pulls the ball from the air.  Junior Earvin Taylor is a solid route runner who gets separation from defenders and reaches back to make the reception.  Another receiver, Jason Carter, flashes skill on occasion while running back Courtney Lewis is a patient ball carrier and solid receiver out of the backfield.  All three must pick up their production and take their play to another level if they are to become serious NFL prospects.  The offensive line has a pair of players to keep an eye on starting with tackle Jami Hightower.  A king sized lineman, Hightower has been productive throughout his A&M career.  Making outstanding use of blocking angles, Hightower is effective in pass protection or as a run blocker and rarely gets beat.  Seriously overweight, he rumbles around the field and does not show top blocking range or the ability to adjust.  Hightower can play tackle in certain systems at the next level yet must properly condition himself and impress scouts prior to the draft.  Aldo De La Garza is a solid prospect at guard with excellent quickness and explosion.  A small area blocker, De La Garza does not play with much balance and is not effective in space.    Boone Stutz is a hard worker with the ability to become a second tight end in the NFL.

Defensively, Johnny Jolly has experience at both end and tackle.  A possible two-gap lineman at the next level, he is quick off the snap and displays athleticism on the field.  Effective when he keeps his pads low to the ground, Jolly tires easily and must develop more moves with his hands.  Sophomore lineman Jorie Adams looked impressive at times last year and was a disruptive force off the edge also making plays laterally in pursuit.  Undersized, he is driven off the line yet offers growth potential and terrific upside for the next level. Adams was dismissed from Texas A&M in January and his career is up in the air as of now.  Senior safety Jackson Appel is a hard-hitting run defender who goes for the knockout blow.  A sudden player, he takes good angles to the action and wraps up at the point.  Appel does not display a feel for coverage or show timing in pass defense and looks best as a zone safety in a two-gap system.

Texas A&M Prospect List

 Name Pos Yr #
Jorrie Adams DE 3So 93
Jaxson Appel S 5Sr 19
Jason Carter WR 5Sr 7
Aldo De La Garza G 4Sr 76
Jami Hightower T 5Sr 75
Johnny Jolly DT 4Sr 97
Courtney Lewis RB 4Jr 25
Reggie McNeal QB 4Sr 1
DeQawn Mobley WR 4Sr 9
Boone Stutz TE 5Sr 88
Earvin Taylor WR 3Jr 2

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