The owner of the consensus best season by a punter in college football history, Texas A&M senior Braden Mann was selected by the New York Jets with the 12th pick of the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Saturday.
“Braden is one of the best punters I have ever seen but an even better person and he is team oriented,” Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He saw the big picture, was a tremendous leader and has a great work ethic. He truly affected the outcome of games. His ability to flip the field and to be able to kill the ball inside the 20 is outstanding. I think he will be a great pro.”
As a junior, Mann claimed the Ray Guy trophy, annually given to the nation’s best punter, and earned unanimous All-America honors after shattering the NCAA record books. The former high school linebacker tallied the most 60-yard punts in a single season (14), registering the best single season punting average (51.0) and single game punting average (60.8) in NCAA history.
In his final season in the Maroon & White, Mann registered the fourth-best punting average in Texas A&M history as he served as team captain for all 13 games. Mann finished his career with the highest punting average (48.9) at Texas A&M by over two yards, besting multi-year NFL veteran Drew Kaser (46.2) and future NFL Hall of Famer Shane Lechler (44.7). Mann’s career average would shatter the NCAA record set by Daniel Sepulveda (45.24) of Baylor set in 2006 if he had reached the requisite 250 punts.
For the first time ever, the draft is occurring exclusively online due to local and national restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned physical Las Vegas location was scrapped in favor of a remote, virtual selection process that will see all 32 NFL teams operating from their homes.