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Three Aggies Chosen in First Round of NFL Draft

May 08, 2014
 | 
Courtesy: Associated Press
(photo: Associated Press)

NEW YORK --- It was a historic day for Texas A&M football as three Aggies were selected among the top 22 picks for the first time in program history at the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday.

The Aggies – all three first-team All-Americans – that heard their names called on Thursday were offensive tackle Jake Matthews (No. 6 to the Atlanta Falcons), wide receiver Mike Evans (No. 7 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and quarterback Johnny Manziel (No. 22 to the Cleveland Browns).

It was the second time in school history that three Aggies were selected in the NFL first round, and the fourth time in program history that A&M produced two top 10 picks. Texas A&M was the only school to produce two top 10 selections,  and Texas A&M and Louisville were the only programs with three first-round picks in 2014.

“I am so proud of Jake, Johnny and Mike,” Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “I know Aggies everywhere join me in congratulating our guys on being selected in the first round of the NFL draft.”

Matthews, from Missouri City, Texas, becomes the second-highest Aggie offensive lineman draft pick behind former teammate Luke Joeckel, who was selected second overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. Matthews is the fourth Aggie offensive lineman selected in the first round. Among the great Matthews football family, Jake becomes the highest drafted Matthews, edging out his NFL Hall of Fame father Bruce, who was taken ninth overall by the Houston Oilers in 1983. Matthews will be making a return trip to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, which was the site of his final collegiate game in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

“I’m the seventh Matthews coming into the NFL,” Matthews said. “I’m proud to say I’m the highest drafted one. I’ve got something on my dad finally. My entire life has been football. I’ve always known I wanted to play in the NFL. Having a Hall of Fame offensive lineman as a dad definitely was a motivator for me to try to follow in his footsteps.”

“Jake was a special person for our program, both on and off of the field,” Sumlin added. “He provided a great example for all of our players on what it means to be a Texas A&M football player. He is the epitome of toughness. He never missed a game or a day of practice in his four years with the program. He is an extremely technically sound player who has the versatility to play any position on the offensive line. I look for Jake to have a long and outstanding career in the NFL.”

Evans, from Galveston, Texas, becomes the first Aggie wide receiver selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Prior to Evans’ first-round call, Robert Ferguson was the highest drafted wide receiver in school history at No. 41 overall (second round) in 2001 by the Green Bay Packers.

“(Tampa Bay) is a team on the rise,” Evans said. “I think we can have an explosive offense and we have a lot of great players on that team and a great coach. I think we can compete. I want to learn the offense as possible and just learn what it takes to be successful in the NFL. I think we can do great things.”

Sumlin said, “Mike is a great player and has the ability to become even better. He has only played three seasons of organized football (one in high school, two in college) and has a great work ethic. He is a big, physical receiver with excellent hands and is a fierce competitor. He plays big without the ball coming his way whether that is running every route at full speed or blocking when he is not getting the ball. I think Mike has a chance to really be something special at the next level.”

Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, becomes the second Aggie quarterback selected in the first round, joining former teammate Ryan Tannehill who was taken eighth by the Miami Dolphins in 2012. Texas A&M becomes one of a handful of football programs that have produced two first-round signal-callers in a three-year span.

“I’m very excited to be a part of Cleveland and the Dawg Pound and the city and the love they have for the Browns,” Manziel said. “My style of play is obviously pretty exciting, and I will continue to try to get better; but I feel like the forces and everything that’s combining in Cleveland, I feel like we can be successful. More than anything, we want to win games.”

Sumlin said, “Without a doubt Johnny is the most exciting college football player I have ever seen. He is as intense of a competitor as I have ever been around. Our guys loved to play with him and they always felt like we had a chance with Johnny at quarterback. I am excited to watch him play at the next level.”

MORE TEXAS A&M NFL DRAFT NOTES

·         Texas A&M has produced at least one first-round draft pick for four straight seasons, which is a program first.

·         Texas A&M has produced at least one top 10 pick in each of the past four years, which has never happened before.  The previous top 10 picks were OT Luke Joeckel (#2), QB Ryan Tannehill (#8) and LB Von Miller (#2).

·         Texas A&M has had 32 players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in its history.

·         Since 1975, at least one Aggie has been selected in the NFL Draft in 38 of 39 possible years with the lone no-pick year in 2007.

·         Until Ryan Tannehill’s No. 8 overall selection in 2012, Texas A&M had just one quarterback picked in the first round. With Johnny Manziel’s selection at No. 22, the Aggies’ last two starting QBs were first-round selections.

·         Matthews became the fourth member of the famed Matthews football family to be selected in the first round – (uncle) Clay Matthews Jr. (12th overall to the Cleveland Browns in 1978), (father) Bruce Matthews (ninth overall to the Houston Oilers in 1983) and (cousin) Clay Matthews III (26th overall to the Green Bay Packers in 2009).

Texas A&M’s NFL First-Round Picks (by Year)

Jake

Matthews

OL

6

Atlanta Falcons

2014

Mike

Evans

WR

7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2014

Johnny

Manziel

QB

22

Cleveland Browns

2014

Luke

Joeckel

OL

2

Jacksonville Jaguars

2013

Ryan

Tannehill

QB

8

Miami Dolphins

2012

Von

Miller

LB

2

Denver Broncos

2011

Ty

Warren

DL

13

New England Patriots

2003

Sammy

Davis

DB

30

San Diego Chargers

2003

Reggie

Brown

LB

17

Detroit Lions

1996

Sam

Adams

DL

8

Seattle Seahawks

1994

Aaron

Glenn

DB

12

New York Jets

1994

Greg

Hill

RB

25

Kansas City Chiefs

1994

Patrick

Bates

DB

12

Los Angeles Raiders

1993

Quentin

Coryatt

LB

2

Indianapolis Colts

1992

Kevin

Smith

DB

17

Dallas Cowboys

1992

Richmond

Webb

OL

9

Miami Dolphins

1990

Roger

Vick

RB

21

New York Jets

1987

Rod

Bernstine

TE

24

San Diego Chargers

1987

Ray

Childress

DL

3

Houston Oilers

1985

Billy

Cannon

LB

25

Dallas Cowboys

1984

Curtis

Dickey

RB

5

Baltimore Colts

1980

Jacob

Green

DL

10

Seattle Seahawks

1980

Robert

Jackson

LB

17

Cleveland Browns

1977

Bubba

Bean

RB

9

Atlanta Falcons

1976

Tim

Gray

DB

21

St. Louis Cardinals

1975

Larry

Stegent

RB

8

St. Louis Cardinals

1970

Maurice

Moorman

OL

19

Kansas City Chiefs

1968

John David

Crow

RB

2

Chicago Cardinals

1958

Charles

Krueger

DL

9

San Francisco 49ers

1958

Bob

Goode

RB

8

Washington Redskins

1949

John

Kimbrough

RB

2

Chicago Cardinals

1941

Jim

Thomason

RB

5

Detroit Lions

1941

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