Tre Mason – Auburn
Mason is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft early. He has been a starter since midway through the 2012 season. Mason had a breakout campaign in 2013, winning the SEC Championship and getting an opportunity to play in the National Championship game. In 2013, Mason ran for over 1,800 yards with a 5.7 yards per carry average while catching 12 passes for 163 yards.
Mason is not a big guy. He is listed at 5100 – 205 and may not even be that big. What he is, however, is a very athletic and fast runner who has very good instincts and the ability to make people miss in the open field. Auburn plays in a multiple formation spread offense. Mason is very quick to the hole and has very good vision/run instincts. While he is quick, he is patient enough to set up blocks and can make a cut in the hole to an opening. However, even though Mason has demonstrated quick cutting ability, I wouldn’t call him a cutback- type runner. He runs low and has good, but not great, strength. He shows he can lower his shoulder into his opponent and get a few extra yards, but he is not a tackle breaker, nor is he a top after-contact runner. Mason is more of a creative, elusive type who can get to an open seam. Once in the open field, he has the speed to take it the distance. I would estimate he will run in the 4.48 range.
Mason is effective as both an inside and outside runner because of his vision. He is reliable as a receiver, but is not used that often in the passing game. In the games I viewed, Mason was used mainly as a check-down receiver. As a pass blocker, he is willing but not very effective. His technique is poor and he doesn’t use his hands well.
Overall, I see Mason as a rotational back who would be an excellent complement to a big power runner. While he is a dangerous open field runner with breakaway skills, he needs work as a pass blocker and a receiver. Mason is going to have to be trusted as a pass blocker before he gets a lot of playing time at the next level. While he is talented, I don’t see him going in the first round. He could get drafted in the second, but is more than likely taken in the third. A strong showing at the Combine or at Auburn’s Pro Day as a receiver could make him more valuable.