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Three Aggies grabbed in first round of NFL Draft

By: Texas A&M Sports Information
By: Texas A&M Sports Information

NEW YORK - It was an 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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