Texas A&M Football: Aggies Who Will Be Picked in the 2013 NFL Draft
The 2012 NFL draft has come to a close with four Aggies chosen during the seven-round draft. With the draft over, it is time to look towards next year's draft prospects at A&M.
With five Aggies signing free agent contracts with NFL teams, nine total Aggies from the 2011 team will get a shot at playing pro football. That is a great number for any college program.
The 2013 senior class should have a chance to improve upon that figure. The rising senior class for the Aggies saw 18 of their members play as true freshmen on a team that went to the Independence Bowl. They were truly the class that turned the program around under Mike Sherman.
With athletes like Christine Michael and Sean Porter, the 2013 class has a chance to break the record of most Aggies ever drafted by the NFL held by the 2002 class with six members.
This is a look at all of the prospects on the Aggie roster and where they might be drafted in 2013.
OLB Sean Porter
Sean Porter is a 6'2" 230 pound linebacker with legit 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. He is the Aggies' best defensive player and could extend the streak of Aggies selected in the first round to three years if he has a strong senior season.
The knock on Porter is his size. He has been trying to gain weight ever since he arrived on campus but is still around 230 pounds. Porter has great size for college, but pro scouts want prototype size in the first round and Porter is not 250 pounds.
Porter has changed roles in Mark Snyder's 4-3 Under scheme from putting his hand down at the line of scrimmage for most of the game in the 3-4, to standing up off the line in Snyder's scheme.
How he adjusts to his new position will go a long way toward determining where he is drafted.
He enters his senior season as a likely All-SEC candidate and possibly an All-American candidate.
DL Jonathan Mathis
Jonathan Mathis is a 6'2" 293 pound defensive lineman. His ideal position is at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but he played nose guard at A&M due to lack of depth at the position. He missed most of the 2011 season with a leg injury and will be back and starting at nose tackle in the Aggies' new 4-3 scheme.
As a junior in 2010, Mathis had 41 tackles and three tackles for loss. He is versatile enough to play up and down the defensive line in the NFL. He can fit in any scheme.
Mathis will be tested in 2012 playing in the most physical league in the country, the Southeastern Conference. He can show a lot to scouts by standing up at the point of attack in the SEC.
Expect Mathis to be drafted somewhere between Rounds 4-7 in 2013.
RB Christine Michael
Christine Michael is one of the most devastating power backs in the country when he is healthy. The problem is that the 5'11", 220-pound back has ended the last two years on the bench with an injury.
Michael is coming of an ACL tear. He rushed for 899 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging six yards per carry in 2011. He has legit high 4.4 speed and has great power.
Because of his injury history and the lower value placed on running backs in the league, there is almost no chance for Michael to slip into the first round. If he stays healthy all year, breaks the1,000 yard barrier and has a good combine, he could find himself picked in the second round of the 2013 draft.
Michael is one of the best running backs in the nation. He just needs to stay healthy for an entire season.
WR Ryan Swope
Ryan Swope had the best season for a wide receiver in the history of A&M football in 2011. His 89 receptions and 1,207 yards are the most ever for a single season at A&M.
He should graduate in 2013 as the most prolific wide receiver ever to set foot on the A&M campus.
In Kevin Sumlin's offense, Swope has a legitimate chance to catch over 100 passes for 1,500 yards in 2012. He should be one of the top receivers in the SEC.
Swope is 6'0" tall and 206 pounds of muscle. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. He projects as a slot receiver in the NFL and should be drafted somewhere between Rounds 3-5.
S Steven Campbell
NFL scouts have been watching Steven Campbell ever since he was a sophomore. The rising senior is a 6'0" 210-pound safety who hits like a freight train. He is arguably the best athlete on the A&M football team.
Campbell can run the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4s. He is a freak athlete and a great football player. The problem is that he can never stay healthy enough to make it through an entire season. He has been injured all three seasons he has been on campus.
Campbell should excel in the SEC where he can play closer to the line of scrimmage and his bone-crunching hits should be highlighted.
If he stays healthy, which is a huge if, then he should be drafted into the NFL. Without his injury history he is a no-brainer pick in the top three rounds. With his injury history, expect him to be selected in Round 5.
CB Dustin Harris
Dustin Harris has prototypical NFL size and speed for an NFL cornerback. He is 6'0" tall and 180 pounds. Harris can run a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash and is probably the fastest player on the A&M team.
Harris used that speed to lead the country in punt return average in 2011 with 18 yards per return. He had one return for a touchdown
On defense, Harris had 33 tackles, two sacks and one interception. The issue with Harris is and always has been consistency. Harris shut down A.J. Green when he was a true freshman. He can play at that level, but he can also get burned by the most average of receivers.
He needs to stay focused in games and play at a consistently high level.
Right now just based on his physical skills, I expect Harris to be drafted in Round 6 or 7.
C Patrick Lewis
Patrick Lewis is a 6'2", 306-pound road grader at center. He has played both guard and center while at A&M. He is extremely powerful and is effective in pass protection and run-blocking.
He will complete his senior season as a four-year starter at A&M.
Lewis is a great interior offensive lineman in college. He projects as a center at the next level.
Expect Lewis to be a late-round draft pick. He is simply a really good college football player who often gets ignored because he plays center.
WR Uzoma Nwachukwu
The prototypical NFL size for a receiver to scouts is 6'0" tall and 190 pounds. Uzoma Nwachukwu is 6'0" tall and weighs 194 pounds. He ran the 200-meter spring in 21 seconds as a senior at Allen (TX) High School and should run around a 4.4 at the combine.
Nwachukwu has fought consistency issues with his hands as an Aggie.
It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he will put up in Sumlin's system. Nwachukwu has great talent, but he needs to play at a higher level if he wants to be drafted. If he has a strong senior season then he could be drafted in Round 7.