With two QBs, a bunch of offensive lineman, a handful of skill position players, and some pass rushers, there is definitely a decent variety of Texas A&M players currently in the NFL. It is a nice batch of players, and now that they are in the SEC, the Aggies will probably get more and more high level recruits that should have a shot at breaking into the league after passing through school. Of the Aggies who have reached the next level, there are not quite as many great ones as there are guys who are struggling to hang on to jobs or break into the starting lineup somewhere. Good and bad though, the Aggies in the NFL have multiple playoff and Pro-Bowl appearances, a handful have played in Super Bowls, and there have been a number of first round picks from the school. Read on to see who of these former stars are among the best and worst players from Texas A&M currently in the NFL.
15. Best: Cedric Ogbuehi
As a four year starter at Texas A&M, Cedric Ogbuehi played both guard and tackle and was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-American team as a senior in addition to being named to the All-SEC team. Despite having knee problems, he was selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 21st overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. Ogbuehi’s ACL injury that he had suffered at the end of his time at Texas A&M kept him out for more than half of his rookie season. He made it back in time to play in the last five games of the regular season however, as well as in the playoffs. In his second season Ogbuehi won a starting job and started 12 out of the 14 games he played in before suffering a shoulder injury near the end of the year.
14. Worst: Luke Joeckel
Despite having a standout career at Texas A&M which included being named second team All-Big 12 as a sophomore, first team All-SEC and consensus All-American as a junior, and winning the Outland Trophy as well, Luke Joeckel has not had the greatest pro career as of yet. His performance blocking for Johnny Manziel earned him a lot of admirers and he was projected by many as a top pick once he declared for the draft. As expected, came off the board fast when he was taken with the second overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joeckel’s rookie season did not last very long as he was injured and out for the season by October. When he returned for his second year he did not play well, giving up eight sacks. He lasted four years with the Jaguars before they moved on and he signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017.
13. Best: Michael Bennett
Although he did not have a standout career at Texas A&M, Michael Bennett had solid production as a defensive lineman while playing all four years. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 as a junior with 43 total tackles plus a sack. He was not drafted in 2009 but was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks. He actually did not make the team and ended up with the Buccaneers where he played for four seasons before returning to Seattle. Upon his return he became a key member of the dominating Seahawks defense that lead the team to a win in Super Bowl XLVIII against the Broncos. He has continued to be an important part of the highly touted defense in Seattle being named to the Pro-Bowl the past two seasons.
12. Worst: Christine Michael
Despite some injury issues throughout his four years at Texas A&M, Christine Michael was still a key part of the high powered Aggies offense during his time there. Michael was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2009, he then ran for almost 2800 yards in his career while also gaining over 300 yards receiving. When the NFL Draft came around in 2013, Michael was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round with the 62nd overall pick. He spent his time in Seattle behind Marshawn Lynch for two seasons, and then he played for the Cowboys for part of his third season before returning to the Seahawks. After starting for Seattle for much of his third season, he was released and picked up by the Green Bay Packers where he re-signed in the offseason.
11. Best: Jake Matthews
In addition to being among the best Texas A&M players in the NFL, Jake Matthews is also one of the best Matthews in the NFL, right behind his cousin Clay Matthews III, and in front of his other cousin Casey Matthews. He is probably not as good as his uncle Clay Jr or his father, Hall of Famer Bruce however. As an Aggie, Matthews was a two time first team All-American lineman, honored in his junior and senior seasons. In the 2014 NFL Draft Matthews was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons with the sixth overall pick. He has started all but one regular season game in his first three seasons in the NFL. He has been a key player in protecting Matt Ryan during his career and helped the Falcons league leading offense make its way to the Super Bowl this past season.
10. Worst: Uzoma Nwachukwu
A four year player for the Aggies at wide receiver, Uzoma Nwachukwu’s best season was as a freshman in 2009 when he had over 700 yards receiving and was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team. By the time Johnny Manziel was chucking the ball around Kyle Field, Nwachukwu was the number three target behind Mike Evans and Ryan Swope. For his career at Texas A&M he finished with over 2200 yards receiving with 19 touchdowns plus one more on the ground. Nwachukwu has been on the practice squad and preseason rosters for a number of teams but has yet to play a snap in the NFL. He did sign with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason so if he does make the team he should be among the worst players from Texas A&M to be on an NFL roster.
9. Best: Ryan Tannehill
Considering at least half of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL are better than him, and some of those guys are not even any good, Ryan Tannehill could be considered one of the worst Texas A&M players in the NFL. But considering the fact that he is a starting quarterback in the NFL, and has been for his entire five year career, it is hard to say that he is not among the best Aggies in the league. The fact is quarterback is the most important position in the game so even if you are merely the 20th best QB, that still makes you better than most running backs, DBs, linemen, and receivers. Tannehill was not even a quarterback for the first two years at Texas A&M as he played receiver, finishing with almost 1600 yards receiving in his career. He finally took over at QB midway through his junior season and after a 3700 plus yard, 29 touchdown season as a senior he was drafted by the Dolphins with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Over five seasons in the NFL he has over 18,000 passing yards and 106 touchdowns and even though he has never won more than eight games in a season and has thrown at least 12 interceptions every year he still counts as one of the best Texas A&M players in the league.
8. Worst: Johnny Manziel
OK, so he is not actually in the NFL at this very moment. But based on the fact that there are basically only five good quarterbacks in the entire league (approximately), the chances that Johnny Manziel will be somewhere next season are a lot better than nothing. After coming out of nowhere as a redshirt freshman in 2012, Johnny Football took college football by storm, first by breaking Archie Manning’s one game total offense record with 557 total yards and then re-setting the record two games later with 576 total yards. But he really established himself when he led the Aggies to an upset of #1 ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa while making his case for the Heisman Trophy. The following season he put up better passing numbers but did not run quite as much. He was then drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has not been that great in the NFL, throwing for over 1600 yards through 15 games in two seasons, but it is his off the field antics that have dragged him out of the league. If he can pull himself together he should get another chance. Although if he does, he will probably remain one of the worst Aggies in the NFL.
7. Best: Shane Lechler
One of the most decorated players from Texas A&M in the NFL is actually a punter, Shane Lechler. Over four years with the Aggies, Lechler was named a freshman All-American in 1996, he was named to various All-American teams as a junior and senior, and also earned All-Big 12 honors multiple times as well. After his four years with the Aggies, Lechler was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 142nd pick in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. During his time in the NFL, he has been named first team All-Pro six times and second team All-Pro three times. He won the Golden Toe award in 2009, is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team and holds the record for average yards per punt for his career with 47.5 yards.
6. Worst: Patrick Lewis
A four year starter on the Texas A&M offensive line that paved the way for their high octane offenses, Patrick Lewis played guard and then center for the Aggies. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 during his three years that the Aggies played in the Big 12, before the team moved to the SEC during his final season. Lewis was the center for the line that protected Heisman winner Johnny Manziel as a senior. He went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft but was signed as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers. He did not make the team but hung around the league, eventually getting playing time with the Seahawks in 2014 and 2015. He is now a member of the Buffalo Bills after spending 2016 with them and playing in one game.
5. Best: Martellus Bennett
Like his older brother Michael, Martellus Bennett was also a star at Texas A&M. Martellus however was a tight end for the Aggies and saw a little bit more glory during his time there, earning second team All-Big 12 in 2006. He had over 1200 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns through his three years with Texas A&M, which was led to him declaring for the NFL Draft after his junior season. Bennett was selected in the second round with the 61st overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys, as the second tight end behind Jason Witten. He then signed with the New York Giants where he played for a year before heading to the Chicago Bears. He really broke out in Chicago, compiling over 900 yards in 2014 and earning a Pro-Bowl invite that year. He was traded to the Patriots in 2016 where he helped them win Super Bowl LI, and signed with the Green Bay Packers this offseason.
4. Worst: Damontre Moore
Over three seasons, Demontre Moore racked up the sixth most sacks in Texas A&M history with 26.5. He was named first team All-SEC and a consensus first team All-American in 2012 after recording 12.5 sacks as a junior. Despite initial expectations that he could go in the first round, Moore slipped into the third round and was taken by the New York Giants with the 81st overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He lasted three seasons in New York before he was waived for his involvement in a number of altercations with various teammates in addition to his underwhelming play. He played with the Dolphins and the Seahawks over the next two seasons and was signed this offseason to the Cowboys. Despite being known for his ability to get to the quarterback he has only compiled 10 sacks during his NFL career so far.
3. Best: Mike Evans
The guy who was Johnny Manziel’s favorite receiver during his time with the Aggies is now another former Heisman winner’s favorite receiver in Tampa Bay. After red-shirting his freshman year, Mike Evans played for the Aggies for two seasons before heading to the NFL. During Manziel’s breakout Heisman year Evans accounted for over 1100 yards worth of Johnny Football’s 3700 plus passing yards. He did even better in 2013 hauling in almost 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to consensus All-America honors. Evans was selected by the Buccaneers with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Evans compiled over 1000 yards receiving in his rookie year but once Tamp Bay drafted Heisman winning quarterback, and crab leg enthusiast, Jameis Winston in his second season, he upped his production to over 1200 yards. This past season he improved a little more finishing with over 1300 yards and looks to be one of the league’s top receivers for years to come.
2. Worst: Steven Terrell
Steven Terrell played in 52 games over four years at Texas A&M, starting in almost half of them. He had four interceptions and forced two fumbles while he was there. He was not drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft but was signed as a free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played on the practice squads for the Jags and then the Texans before he was signed but the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. Over three years with the Seahawks he has not done much, although he was on the roster for Super Bowl XLIX. The fact that the Seahawks have kept him around might mean that he may not remain on the “worst” side of this list for long. Pete Carroll is known as a great defensive backs coach and obviously most of the DBs who have started for the Seahawks over the past few years have developed into pretty good players. Terrell was the guy they turned to when all-world safety Earl Thomas was lost for the year at the end of last season, so it is possible that Carroll could shape him into another great Seahawks DB. Although at the moment he is not much at all.
1. Best: Von Miller
Considering he is one of the very best players in the NFL at the moment, you are not going to find another Aggie in the league that is better than Super Bowl hero Von Miller. Over four years at Texas A&M, Miller recorded over 30 sacks, was on the Freshman All-Big 12, team, and was named first team All-Big 12 and first team All-American in both his junior and senior seasons. He was the number two overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Through six seasons in the NFL, Miller is a five time Pro-Bowler, he was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, and he led the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl 50 where he faced the only guy who was picked before him in the 2011 NFL Draft, Cam Newton. Miller was able to exact a measure of revenge for the Panthers passing on him by sacking Newton 2.5 times, forcing two fumbles, and being named the Super Bowl MVP.
Bonus: Myles Garrett
There is one more big name player from Texas A&M that is not quite in the NFL yet but will certainly be in the league this coming year. That is of course the guy who everyone expects to join the Cleveland Browns with the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, Myles Garrett. The question is will Garrett turn out to be more of a Von Miller and be among the best Aggies in the NFL, or will he become a Damontre Moore and wander around the league, failing to live up to his potential. Over three seasons with the Aggies, Garrett has racked up 31 sacks. He was a two time first team All-SEC and a two time first team All-American in 2015 and 2016. If he does go number one to the Browns, we will soon see if he is a transformational superstar who can turn them into a great team, or if he is just another high draft pick to languish in Cleveland before slipping out of the league.
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