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Missouri’s Josh Augusta is a *mammoth* human being (and a hell of a play-maker)

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Maybe a little too mammoth?

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Augusta

6’4, 370, Sr.

Peoria, IL
2015: 22.0 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 1 PBU
2014: 15.5 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FF
2013: 7.0 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks

Oscar Gamble: Whether he’s “Big Bear” or “Juggernaut”, Josh Augusta is a MAMMOTH human being. At a reported 370 pounds, he’s gained almost 100 pounds from his listed high school weight. Despite that, he’s demonstrated some incredible athleticism and made highlights that seem to hint at NFL-worthy potential.

He’s also struggled with conditioning and effort. He’s taken plays off and failed to totally lock down the starting job over his four years in Columbia. The question I have is, can new defensive line coach Jackie Shipp maximize Augusta’s talent when Craig Kuligowski perhaps could not?

I think Augusta can become an NFL draft pick after this year, if only because of his size — he’s bigger than Vince Wilfork. Earlier this year, I went in-depth about the kind of season he needs to have and think he could become a third- or fourth-round pick with a good season.

davidcmorrison: I still miss “Big Bear,” though I can see how “Juggernaut” holds more appeal. Weight and conditioning has been a consistent problem for Augusta during his time at Missouri, and the big 3-7-0 is concerning for a couple of reasons.

One, it can’t mean that he’s in the best shape of his career. It just can’t. I don’t care how much of it is muscle, guys pushing four bills just can’t see the field for more 55-60 percent of the game, especially if they’re going against up-tempo offenses.

Two, Augusta’s productivity seems to fluctuate with his conditioning as well. Even if he’s playing 6-7 snaps at a time, the first 3-4 might be high-caliber but the last 3 or so might just be him flailing around in the arms of a barely trying offensive lineman as he waits, desperately, for someone to cycle in and give him a breather.

Augusta played the most of any of the Tigers’ interior linemen last year (good sign for durability) but wound up tied with Terry Beckner and Rickey Hatley in tackles and logged only a half tackle for loss more than Beckner in almost 200 more snaps.

That’s above average for a space eater that frees up other, more lithe options to make plays, and Augusta has proven adept at that over his three seasons. But there’s also always been that hint with him that he could be a destructive force as well and, thanks in part to his conditioning issues, that potential has waned as the snap counts have waxed.

Pboggs: Augusta gives Mizzou the SEC size and presence in the trenches. “Juggernaut” will be very needed coming into this season, especially for games that require heavy run stopping (LSU cough cough). We can only hope he gets his conditioning back to par before the season starts. Augusta is also unassumingly very athletic and mobile for his size, plus he has great hands for a defensive tackle.

Yo Heupel, throw Augusta on the wideout chart!

Bill C.: We always get excited when we see some 280-pound tackle is suddenly 305 or something. And we get more excited when he crossed 320 and still seems to be able to actually run and jump to some degree.

But ... 370. Wow. That’s ... probably less exciting.

Even if his conditioning isn’t fantastic, he could do some damage in short bursts and soften up opposing lines for Mizzou’s other tackles (and Mizzou has some strong early tackles). But I’d be happy to hear he’s under 350 at some point in the near future.