Texas A&M Football: Updated Projections on Where the Aggies Will Be Drafted
The 2013 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 25. Six Aggies will likely hear their names called during the seven rounds on the draft.
In 2009 former Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman made a concerted effort to go with youth and played a school record 18 true freshmen. The Aggies took their lumps during a 6-7 season but that 2009 recruiting class produced four players who will be drafted.
The 2009 recruiting class will have up to seven members of it sign NFL contracts. That class is a tribute to Sherman's ability to identify and develop talent. Sherman's 2010 recruiting class included three All-Americans.
Two of those All-Americans are Luke Joeckel and Damontre Moore. Both left A&M after their junior seasons and declared for the NFL draft. Joeckel and Moore will lead a parade of Aggies into the NFL in 2013.
This is an up to date look at where the Aggies should expect to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.
OT Luke Joeckel
Predicted Selection: First Round No. 1 Overall by Kansas City Chiefs
Aggie left tackle Luke Joeckel will be the first overall selection of the draft. He will be drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs because Andy Reid knows how important it is to protect a quarterback's blind side.
The three most valued players in the NFL are quarterback, left tackle and an impact pass-rusher. Joeckel is the best left tackle in the draft and will therefore be the first player selected.
Joeckel will become the third Aggie to be selected in the top 10 picks of the NFL draft in the last three years. Von Miller was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2011 draft, and Ryan Tannehill was the No. 8 overall selection in the 2012 draft.
Reid went out and got a quarterback in Alex Smith, now he is going to protect him with Joeckel.
DE Damontre Moore
Projected Selection: First round No. 29 overall by New England Patriots
Damontre Moore has been one of the more controversial names in the draft. He had a tremendous junior season, leading the Aggies with 85 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks.
His draft stock took a major hit when he ran a 4.95 40 at the combine, and only did 12 reps on the bench press. Bill Belichick will not get held up on the combine numbers. The Patriots need defensive linemen and Moore is one of the best available in the draft.
Belichick likes SEC football players and he will value Moore's ability to also play outside linebacker. Expect Moore to surprise many of his skeptics during his rookie year with his ability to rush the passer and be an effective player in the NFL.
RB Christine Michael
Projected Selection: Second round No. 37 overall by Cincinnati Bengals
Christine Michael has all the physical attributes of a first round draft pick. He was a star at the NFL Combine and is one of the better overall athletes in the draft.
Michael will slip into the second round because of off the field questions. He experienced multiple injuries during his career at A&M and missed a couple of games as a senior after finding his way in Kevin Sumlin's doghouse.
The Bengals need running backs and will not be able to pass up on a talent like Michael. He should team with A.J. Green and Andy Dalton to help solidify the Bengals' nucleus.
WR Ryan Swope
Projected Selection: Second round No. 46 overall by St. Louis Rams
Like Michael, Aggie wide receiver Ryan Swope was also a star performer at the combine. He surprised those who had not actually watched him play, by turning in a 4.34 in the 40 and vaulted himself up draft boards.
The Rams have a huge need at wide receiver and will draft Swope and his prolific abilities to make plays. Swope left A&M as the career leader in receptions and receiving yards. He should excel in St. Louis where the turf will accentuate his quickness.
Sam Bradford needs to find some help at wide receiver in this draft, and Swope should be an impact player for the Rams immediately.
OLB Sean Porter
Projected Selection: Third Round No. 69 Overall by Arizona Cardinals
Sean Porter will have a long and successful career in the NFL. He is an outstanding linebacker who excels in all phases of the game. He is good in coverage and at rushing the passer.
The Cardinals have a need at linebacker and Porter can help them with his versatility. Porter ran 4.63 40 at the Texas A&M Pro Day. He will use his athleticism to be an excellent linebacker in the NFL.
LB Jonathan Stewart
Projected Selection:Sixth round No. 205 overall by Oakland Raiders
Jonathan Stewart has ideal size and speed for an NFL linebacker. He is 6'4" 248-pounds and ran a 4.68 in the 40 at the NFL Combine. He fits the prototype for an inside linebacker in the NFL.
Stewart was solid at middle linebacker for the Aggies for the past two seasons. The Raiders have a need at linebacker and Raider's head coach Dennis Allen will take a flier in the late rounds on a fellow Aggie.
Stewart will have a good chance to make the Raiders roster.