The Denver Broncos did not select a Defensive End in the 2013 NFL Draft, unless Quanterus Smith doesn’t project to the Linebacker spot. However, they did pick up two College Free Agents, one of which we will take a look at today. He is a 23-year old DE out of Baylor University named Gary Mason Jr.
Gary stands 6’-4” and 265 lbs., pretty much the prototypical size for a 4-3 Defensive End.
NFL Draft Scout had him ranked 72nd out of 148 Defensive Ends and he was expected to go undrafted. Mason did not receive a Combine invite, but had a good workout at Baylor’s Pro Day. Here are his measurables:
40 Yard Time – 4.73
20 Yard Split – 2.81
10 Yard Split – 1.70
Bench Press – 26
Vertical Jump – 27.5”
Broad Jump – 113”
20 Yard Shuttle - 4.53
3-Cone Drill – 7.28
A 5th year Senior and 3-year starter for the Bears, Mason played 47 career games with 32 starts. He amassed 78 Tackles, 16.5 Tackles For Loss, 6 Sacks, 1 Interception, 7 Pass Deflections, 1 Forced Fumble and one Fumble Recovery.
Gary was a 3-star recruit out of Waxahachie High School in Texas. He had 86 Tackles, including 24 Tackles For a Loss and 14 Sacks as a senior. Mason missed his sophomore campaign with a torn ACL, which slowed his play as a junior. He made 21 Tackles, 3 TFL’s and two sacks, that season.
He took a Redshirt in 2009 at Baylor, appearing in nine games as a reserve Defensive End. Mason assisted on 3 Tackles, had one Quarterback Hurry and earned the team’s Baylor Defensive Bear Squad Award for efforts on scout team.
As a Sophomore in 2010, Gary played in all 13 games and started 11 at Defensive End, with 21 Tackles, three Tackles-For-Loss, one Sack, seven QB hurries, one Interception and one Fumble recovery. Those seven Hurries led the team. Mason made his first seven career starts at the beginning of the season, came off the bench for wins vs. K-State and at Texas and then returned to the starting lineup for the final three regular-season games. His one and only career Interception came during Week 12 vs. No. 16 Oklahoma and Gary returned it 21 yards.
In 2011, the Junior played in all 13 games, including eight starts at Defensive End. Mason totaled 26 Tackles, and tied for 2nd-best total on team with 8 Tackles For Loss. He also had a team-high 4 Quarterback Hurries, two Pass Breakups and a Forced Fumble. His 2.5 Sacks ranked 4th on team. Posted four tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, in win over Rice in third game. Gary’s Forced Fumble vs. Iowa State in the 5th game was returned 86 yards for Touchdown. He sat out spring drills nursing an injured leg.
As a Senior in 2012, Mason sat out spring camp rehabbing a shin injury. He started all 13 contests with 28 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles For Loss, 2 Sacks and 5 Pass Breakups.
How he fits in Denver:
There isn’t a lot to go on here. Gary Mason jr. has the size and tangibles for a Defensive End. He played in the Big 12 conference, so his experience came against good competition. He tore an ACL seven years ago and should be healthy from that setback. His other injuries don’t seem to be significant. With limited information, it is difficult to make an assessment on Mason’s talent level, but with NFL Draft Scout’s ranking, I’d say that Mini Camp and Training Camp will tell the tale on whether Gary is worth developing on the Practice Squad.
– Kaptain Kirk