Texas A&M Football: Where the Aggies Ended Up in the NFL Draft
The 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone and we saw the most Texas A&M football players drafted since the 2003 draft that included Ty Warren and Sammy Davis. As expected, Ryan Tannehill was selected in the top ten when the Miami Dolphins called his name at No. 8.
The departed Aggie football players will have to adjust to new surroundings and try to fit into a new team. Hopefully all of them will make a successful adjustment to the NFL and make their teams as rookies. Four Aggies were drafted and five others were signed by teams as undrafted free agents.
This is a look at where each A&M player ended up and how they fit into their new team.
QB Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the No. 8 pick overall. Tannehill will be reunited with Mike Sherman in Miami. Sherman will be his offensive coordinator with the Dolphins.
Tannehill is an extremely smart player who planned on being an orthopedic surgeon if football did not work out. He knows Mike Sherman's system inside and out and should enter into the mini-camps with a big advantage over his fellow rookie quarterbacks.
Tannehill will need to learn all the difference blitzes that NFL defenses will throw at him, but he already knows the audibles and checkdowns in this offense. He should be as prepared to play as any quarterback entering the league.
Expect Tannehill to be starting for the Dolphins by the end of the season.
K Randy Bullock
Randy Bullock was selected by the Houston Texans in the fourth round with the No. 161 pick overall.
Bullock will compete for the starting placekicker position in Houston. Teams rarely use draft picks on kickers so the fact that Houston used a fourth-rounder on Bullock means that they expect him to be their kicker in 2012.
Bullock was the best kicker in the country in college in 2011 and he should have a lot of success kicking in a dome in Houston. Expect Bullock to be the Texans kicker coming out of training camp.
RB Cyrus Gray
The Kansas City Chiefs got the steal of the draft when they selected Cyrus Gray in the sixth round with the 182nd pick of the draft.
Gray displayed his tremendous speed at the combine where he ran a 4.4 in the 40. He has great hands and had good production in college with back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. He is a complete back who can also help in the return game.
He gets better and better with more carries in games. His patient running style suits the NFL. Gray should have been selected in the second or third round and the fact that he lasted so long is a mystery.
Expect Gray to make the Chiefs as a backup running back and for him to have a long NFL career.
CB Terrence Frederick
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Frederick in the seventh round. He was selected with the 246th pick overall.
Frederick is a very physical corner who is great against the run. He should excel in Pittsburgh's zone blitz scheme that mirrors the scheme the Aggies ran under Tim DeRuyter.
Frederick is a solid overall tactician who has a great chance to make Pittsburgh's squad.
Fredrick will probably have to excel on the special teams to make the squad.
WR Jeff Fuller
Jeff Fuller considered entering the draft after his junior season but received a second-or-third-round grade from the NFL scouts, so he decided to return to A&M for his senior season to improve his standing in the draft like Von Miller had done the previous year.
Unfortunately, Fuller had to deal with multiple injuries and consistency issues with catching the ball. He was not drafted.
Fuller signed a free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.
He will join his former teammate Ryan Tannehill in Miami and run the same offense he ran in college. Fuller has elite size at 6'4" and 220 lbs. He ran a great 40-time for the scouts at 4.58. It is pretty surprising that he was not drafted even with his subpar senior season. He should be able to make the Miami team as a wide receiver. Much like Gray, expect Fuller to end up being one of the steals of the draft.
CB Coryell Judie
Like Fuller, CB Coryell Judie completed his junior season with a top-three-round grade from the NFL scouts. He also suffered through multiple injuries during his senior year which kept him off the field for most of the games.
Judie is 5'11" and 190 lbs so he has great size for a corner. He showed the scouts his speed by running in the 4.4s at the A&M Pro Day. He is an elite return man who led the nation in kickoff return average in 2010.
Judie brings a lot to the table but the injuries were too much for the scouts to overlook.
He was signed to a free-agent contract by the Denver Broncos, where he will try to join a defense led by former teammate Von Miller.
When healthy, Judie was A&M's best cover corner. If he can stay healthy and adjust to NFL defenses then he should be able to make the Broncos squad.
DE Tony Jerod-Eddie
I wrote before the draft that I thought scouts were overlooking Jerod-Eddie's immense talent. Some scouts believe he is too inconsistent. Despite what the talking heads who watch the game proclaim, I believe it is very rare to find a defensive lineman whose motor runs 100-percent throughout the game.
Those guys like Ndamukong Suh and Warren Sapp come along once a decade. Most defensive linemen even at the college level have to be motivated to play up to their potential.
I thought Jerod-Eddie had a solid career at A&M and should have been drafted, at the very least. The great irony is that Jerod-Eddie received National Player of the Week awards after registering three sacks in a September win over SMU. Two of the guards he dominated in that game, Josh Leribeus and Kelvin Beachum, were both drafted.
Jerod-Eddie is a great combination of size and speed. He can play inside at NG or outside at DE. He should fit well into the Niners' 3-4 scheme.
DL Eddie Brown
Aggie NG Eddie Brown signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers.
At barely over 6'0" tall and 300 pounds, Brown has ideal height for a college nose-guard. He is strong at the point of attack and had a solid career as a two-year starter at A&M.
He does not possess the overall athleticism to warrant an NFL draft pick. He is quick for his size but does not have the overall skills that you would expect from an NFL defensive lineman.
Brown was a very good college football player but is a good example of a good college player who is simply not good enough for the NFL. Expect him to be cut by the Chargers before training camp is over.
CB Lionel Smith
Lionel Smith was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys.
Smith was a very poor college corner back who struggled in coverage. He is a great athlete who ran a 4.41 in front of the NFL scouts and showed off a 39" vertical leap.
Dallas is the perfect destination for Smith because Jerry Jones has repeatedly shown that you do not have to make plays on the field to be a playmaker. As long as your contract is low and you show the "potential" to be a player, then he will keep you on the roster.
Smith is a good special teams player and his best shot to stick on the roster is to become a special teams standout.
He was a very poor college corner and if he went to any other team would have no shot of making the roster. It is different in Dallas, though, because you do not have to perform to stay on the roster.
Even with the 'Boys adding two corners in free agency and using the No. 6 pick in the draft on Morris Caliborne, this is still as good of a situation for Smith as he could hope for.