The Las Vegas Raiders are known for having mean, nasty offensive linemen who like to finish blocks with defenders in the dirt, and the Raiders could use another one in this year’s NFL Draft. Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green is just that and has the versatility to play multiple spots in a pinch.
OG | Texas A&M | 6’4” and 325 pounds | Humble, TX | March 15th, 2001 (20.9)
Kenyon Green came to Texas A&M as a four-star recruit and the fifth-ranked offensive tackle in the country for the 2019 class, per 247 Sports. As a true freshman, he started at right guard before making the switch to left guard in year two and recording at least one start at every position on the offensive line but center this past season. In the Aggies’ zone-heavy rushing attack with a lot of five- to seven-step drops in the passing game, Green earned PFF run-blocking grades above 70 every year — 83.6 last year — and allowed 48 pressures and five sacks — 20 and one in his last two seasons.
- Extremely versatile with experience playing nearly every offensive line spot at a high level, he can be a guy that can fill in and play another position in a pinch
- Run or pass, two- or three-point stance, he has a pretty good get-off and is usually one of the first guys off the ball
- His get-off and foot quickness allows him to get to the spot on his pass sets, regardless of the technique/set he uses
- Aggressive using quick sets and looks comfortable getting hands on defenders early in pass protection
- Solid timing with his punch as a pass blocker, he typically makes contact at the same time as the rusher, and he has very good hand placement with his inside hand on the pass rusher’s chest to control the rusher and his outside arm on the rusher’s bicep to pin their arm and prevent them from making a move
- Also has heavy hands in pass protection, he can stop defensive ends in their tracks with his punch
- His grip strength is evident in pass protection too, he can control defensive tackles with his upper body strength and stop a lot of their pass rush moves before they even start
- Displays impressive mental alertness in pass pro, is quick to recognize when his man is dropping in coverage and look for work to help his teammates, he has no issues picking up and passing off rushers running line games, and when asked or is forced to double read, he secures the inside first and has great timing to come off that defender and at least chip the edge
- He also recognizes when the pass rusher has reached the quarterback’s depth to open the gate and ride the rusher by
- Good change of direction for a big guy to defeat counter moves
- His anchor is better at guard where he can be more physical at the line of scrimmage and rushers don’t get as much of a running start and with his size and strength, anchoring shouldn’t be much of an issue at guard in the NFL
- As a run blocker, he’s going to be hard to reset because he plays with a wide, sturdy base and has the upper body strength to help him overcome his late hands when defensive ends get into his chest
- Also blocks with good knee bend and pad level, leg drive to get a push, and he’s a snap to whistle type of player with impressive grip strength to help stay engaged and finish blocks
- Takes great angles and is physical on down blocks and as the second blocker on double teams and combos to wash defensive tackles down. As the first blocker on doubles and combos, his physicality, strength and blase help him get defensive linemen to stop their feet and dig their heels into the ground.
- On zone runs, he's very effective at using a read step to ride defensive tackle’s momentum to wash them out of the play and also
- He can create lateral movement when he recognizes he can’t seal the defensive lineman when reach blocking, and he does show the foot work to be able to reach defensive tackles at the next level if his hip mobility can improve
- Solid speed when pulling and he keeps his feet moving through contact to kick out edges
- Recognizes and picks up crashing linebackers well when coming off combo blocks
- Good pacing and angles when working up to the second level to create rushing lanes without over running the target, and he moves linebackers easily with his size and strength
Areas of Improvement:
- When vertical setting in pass protection, he has heavy feet and inefficient footwork on his kick slides, he doesn’t cover enough ground with his first couple of steps
- He doesn’t mixup the timing of his punches to keep pass rusher’s guess, rushers who are good with their hands will be able to time his punch as the game goes on
- As a run or pass blocker, he does have instances where his hands get a little too wide, risking getting called for holding
- Could afford to drop his butt a little more to help dig his heels in and anchor
- On base blocks, he has a habit of hopping with his second and thrid steps and is a bit of a leaner, something that strong defensive tackles might be able to take advantage of to get off blocks at the next level
- He does have an issue of getting his head on the right side when blocking on outside zone runs, opening up lanes for defenders to get penetration
- Adequate hip mobility overall to seal defensive ends on reach blocks
NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board rank: 23rd, 1st round
Green is one of the top interior offensive linemen in this year’s draft class and is certainly worthy of a first round grade. However, the relatively low position value for guards, where he projects best at the next level, is going to push him into the 20s. There might be at team that thinks they can stick him at tackle and take him earlier, but I think it’s pretty clear on tape his best spot is at left guard.
That being said, the Texas A&M product has made himself more valuable by showing off so much versatility this season, positions wise and schematically. He’d probably be best in a gap-heavy scheme, but he’s shown the ability to climb to the second level and be effective on inside zone blocking and the potential to be an asset on outside zone down the line as well. In the passing game, he should be fine at guard in any type of scheme and would fit well into a quick, west-coast style attack at tackle.
What do we need to know?
Is he athletic enough to really be relied on at tackle? I keep bringing up how versatile Green is and how that increases his value, but the reason why he’s seen as an interior lineman is because he lacks the feet and movement skills to hold down the edge in a full-time role. So, is that something he can get away with or the offense can hide for a few games, or something that will get exposed when the competition level rises?
Fit with the Raiders:
Plain and simple, Green should be available when the Raiders pick and he fills a need while giving them the flexibility to give Alex Leatherwood another shot at tackle, if that is the plan for the new regime. The former Aggie would also be a great scheme fit if Josh McDaniels wants to continue running a gap-heavy offense like he did in New England last year.
I’m not saying Green will undoubtedly be the guy Las Vegas selects with the 22nd pick of the draft, but there are a lot of signs pointing in that direction and it would make a lot of sense.
Beautiful combo block by Kenyon Green (LT):— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
-Steps down & helps OG kick DT inside
-Recognizes LB crashing downhill, sticks his inside foot in ground, comes off DT & gets hat on hat against the LB
I like how Kenyon Green (LT) uses a read step, keeps his head inside & uses the DT’s momentum against him to create a cutback lane here pic.twitter.com/EtDceU2Fsc— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
Kenyon Green (LT) toes the line for holding w/ his outside hand but I love how he comes off the OLB, attacks the DT & prevents a pass rush move from even starting here pic.twitter.com/I3pYAJGwzF— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
This is impressive from Kenyon Green (LT):— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
-Bama runs a slant that gives them a 3x2 advantage on the offense’s left
-Green secures the inside rusher & recognizes the EDGE is unblocked
-He redirects & comes off the DT to chip the EDGEpic.twitter.com/IMGANQdVxK
I’m pretty impressed by Kenyon Green’s (LG) speed & angle to the 2nd level here to put himself between the LB & RB, then his size & strength takes over to make the rushing lane wider— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
A 325-pound Kenyon Green (LG) coming down on a double team is not exactly a welcomed sight for defensive linemen. I think 89 got some air here pic.twitter.com/UmRFIyoXc2— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022
Kenyon Green (LT) toes the line for holding w/ his outside hand but I love how he comes off the OLB, attacks the DT & prevents a pass rush move from even starting here— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 27, 2022