Texas A&M Football: Who Is Replacing Every Aggie Taken in 2014 NFL Draft
The 2014 NFL Draft is complete and three members of the Texas A&M football team heard their name called. With three Aggies drafted in the first round there are going to be significant holes to fill on the 2014 team.
In 2014 Aggie fans will start to see some of the fruit of that labor as the team will be as deep as any time in recent memory. The talent, especially on the defensive line, will be as good as any Aggie team in 20 years.
The Aggies will need to replace the three players who left in the draft, but Sumlin has been accounting for those losses in his recruiting. The Aggies have the talent on campus to step in for the departed players without missing a beat on the field.
Johnny Manziel was a special player and you cannot replace what he brought with just one person. For this reason there will be more than one player who will be used to replace Manziel's production on the field.
This is a look at the players who will replace Manziel, Mike Evans and Jake Matthews.
Replacement: Trey Williams
Johnny Manziel led the Aggies in rushing the past two seasons. The Aggies' quarterback will not lead the team in rushing in 2014.
Trey Williams averaged 7.0 yards per rush in 2013. With Manziel in the NFL and Ben Malena having graduated, Williams will finally be the focus of the Aggies' running game.
He rushed for 407 yards and six touchdowns in 2013 in 11 games. Williams struggled with injuries during his first two years in Aggieland. It is now his junior year and his time to shine.
Williams will get help in replacing Manziel's rushing production from a deep running back position that includes Tra Carson, Brandon Williams and Jame White.
Aggie fans should expect to see a bigger emphasis on the running game with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital at the controls of the offense.
Replacement: Kyle Allen
The competition to replace Johnny Manziel as the Aggies' quarterback will continue to be the narrative of the offseason. If Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin sticks to his recent pattern, he will pick a starter sometime around August 14. He waited until two weeks before the Florida game in 2012 to announce Johnny Manziel as the starter and wants to see how the candidates progress through the summer before making a choice.
True freshman Kyle Allen will win the battle against sophomore Kenny Hill to be the starter against South Carolina. Allen was running neck and neck with Hill during spring practice.
Hill had a semester head start on Allen in the Aggies' offensive system, but Allen was able to pick up the offense quickly and was even with Hill when practice completed. Given more time in the offense, Allen will surpass Hill and earn the starting nod from Sumlin.
The quarterbacks who have played under Sumlin since he has become a head coach have averaged 380 yards passing per game. All the people who think the Aggie offense is going to fall off the rails without Manziel are going to be surprised to see them putting up 500 yards per game in 2014.
Replacement: Cedric Ogbuehi
Jake Matthews was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 6 pick in the 2014 draft. He is the second Aggie offensive lineman in a row to be selected in the top 10 of the draft after Luke Joeckel was picked No. 2 overall by Jacksonville in 2013.
Cedric Ogbuehi will move from right tackle over to left tackle to replace Matthews in 2014. As long as Ogbuehi stays healthy, he will make it three years in a row that the Aggies will have an offensive lineman selected in the first round.
Ogbuehi is a two-year starter for the Aggies and will compete for All-SEC and All-American honors in 2014. He is a tremendous athlete who resembles a tight end or large linebacker more than an offensive lineman.
Ogbuehi will protect the new Aggie quarterback's blind side in 2014 and continue the Aggies' recent run of dominant offensive linemen.
Replacement: Speedy Noil
Mike Evans was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft by Tampa Bay. The simple reality of the situation is that no one receiver is going to be able to replace the 69 receptions for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns that Evans produced in 2013.
Speedy Noil is a true freshman who impressed coaches with his elusiveness and speed during spring practices. He should develop into the Aggies' big-play threat before the end of the 2014 season.
Redshirt freshman receiver Ricky-Seals Jones and incoming freshman Frank Iheanacho will try to replace Evans' physical presence on the field. Evans was an exceptional blocker and simply overpowered defensive backs with his huge frame and strength.
Seals-Jones is a 6'6", 240-pound athlete who missed most of the 2013 season with a knee injury. Iheanacho is a 6'6", 225-pound converted high school basketball star just like Evans was. They will both attempt to be the same kind of blocker on the edge Evans had been during his two years on campus.
Seals-Jones, Iheanoacho and tight end Cam Clear will offer the A&M quarterbacks big targets to look for when they are in trouble. When it comes to replacing the game-breaking ability that Evans had, the responsibility will lie with Noil.