Sep 22, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

Texas A&M Top NFL Draft Prospects for 2013 and Beyond

76 Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Junior  6’6″ 310 pounds

Big, long, athletic offensive lineman who could potentially be the best player in the country at the left tackle position. After being recruited by some of the best colleges in the country, Joeckel chose Texas A&M where he won the starting job as a freshman and has started every game since. He is a force at the left tackle position who has great feet and is able to handle anything that comes his way on opposing defensive lines. Named to the All Big 12 freshman team and first team All-Big 12 in his first two seasons as an Aggie, and picking up where he left off as a sophomore. If he chooses to enter the 2013 NFL Draft, he could be the first offensive lineman taken. Despite his length, doesn’t play too high and does a good job bending his knees and using his long arms to supplement his form. There is certainly plenty for him to work on, as he’s an unfinished product, but Joeckel is an early candidate to be the first OT off the board in April if he declares.

75 Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Junior  6’5″ 305 pounds

The Aggies struck big time gold at offensive tackle with Joeckel and right tackle Jake Matthews, the son of NFL Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews. Jake is the returning starting right tackle to form a dominant pair of bookend tackles for the Aggies, and he potentially is the best overall right tackle in the country right now. All-Freshman Big 12 selection as a rookie in 2010, and like his teammate Joeckel, Matthews won the starting RT job as a freshman and has never looked back. Matthews is an effective pass blocker, but he’s not quite as good as Joeckel. He may be a better run blocker, however, and is capable of completely overpowering the opposition in that phase of the game. Plays a very physical style but with good control. If he chooses to declare in 2013, he should be at worst a third round selection.

25 Ryan Swope, Wide Receiver, Senior  6’1″ 206 pounds

Swope is one of the best wide receivers in Texas A&M history. He was the favorite target of Ryan Tannehill, and while this year he’s taken a bit of a backseast for freshman QB Johnny Manziel, he is still out there making plays for the Aggies. Swope’s success as a junior is well-documented, catching 89 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. Swope’s sure hands and deceptive quickness have paved the way for Jordy Nelson comparisons, though he’s not quite as productive as Nelson was at Kansas State. Swope is a good, reliable route runner who plays with toughness and has an edge to his game. I think if he has a good finish to his senior season, there is a chance he could be a day two selection. He will benefit greatly from the success guys like Wes Welker and Jordy Nelson have had as underrated receivers coming out of college who are deceptively athletic and can make plays in the slot or on the outside. Perhaps the better overall game comparison is that of Jordy Nelson, but certainly Swope looks like a player who can make an impact at the NFL level.

10 Sean Porter, Linebacker, Senior  6’2″ 230 pounds

Porter’s stock is on the decline his senior season after having a pretty dominant junior year where he tallied 79 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks along with two passes broken up and a forced fumble. Porter has posted only half of a sack through the team’s first seven games, and just two tackles for loss. There has been really no explanation for the sudden decline in production, other than teams are paying more attention to Porter, who broke out the year after Von Miller graduated and headed off to the NFL. At this point, I think Porter is an undersized linebacker prospect with some upside as a joker pass rusher. He’s not your traditional strongside linebacker, but he offers a little bit more in terms of his ability on third downs.

1 Ben Malena, Running Back, Junior  5’8″ 195 pounds

Not tall but a well-build running back who plays with toughness and speed. Got some brakaway ability and vision down the field, and as a result, is the leading rushing tailback so far this season for the Aggies. After scoring four rushing touchdowns in his first action last season, has scored four  total TDs in 2012 including one receiving score. Capable of handling a moderately heavy load, but is not big enough at this point to be a featured tailback. If he adds some weight without losing speed or quickness, I think Malena has the potential to be that featured back. Still a very raw prospect and certainly not the focal point of the A&M offensive attack, but definitely a guy who can contribute and will be interesting to watch over the next year and a half.

33 Christine Michael, Running Back, Senior  5’10” 220 pounds

Big, speedy tailback who has some red flags going into his senior season. The red flags that come along with Michael are injuries, specifically a season-ending knee injury last season, and being suspended from the team for violations of team rules. So far, he hasn’t been able to get good momentum for his senior season, but if he is given a full workload, he is capable of making big plays with his quickness and speed. He’s also a bigger back, so he is good to fall forward at the end of most runs and hit the hole hard. Gets bottled up at the line of scrimmage far too frequently, but when he gets outside the tackles, he is a dangerous one-cut runner. Runs low, keeps good balance, and does a good job getting to the second level quickly when he is able to run to the outside.

94 Damontre Moore, Defensive End/Linebacker, Junior  6’4″ 250 pounds

Moore has emerged as one of the nation’s top defensive end/linebacker hybrid players. Through the team’s first six games, he leads the Aggies with 52 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. He’s having a dominant junior season, and could be a clear candidate to leave early and be one of the top pass rushers selected in 2013. Moore broke out in his sophomore season with 72 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks supplemented by four forced fumbles and has followed that campaign up beautifully. Gets good burst off the snap and is obviously wildly productive. From what I’ve seen of him, he is a very aggressive player who can get sucked in at times, and needs to work on play recognition, but he has great natural abilities to get into the offensive backfield. Really good closing speed and wrap up ability. He has all of the tools you look for to be a first round selection.

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