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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Mock Draft 12.0: A&M Edition

 
 

Nothing is ever a sure thing in sports, especially in the business of betting a franchise’s future and beaucoup stacks of cash on a 20-year-old kid. It’s like Vegas, except rather than chips the reward for the right bet is a Super Bowl ring.
Through all the doubts and second-guessing of the draft process, two things remain constant moving toward Thursday’s NFL Draft – nerves are tense and uncertainty looms.
Judging off Kevin Costner’s latest sports film “Draft Day” (which couldn’t hold a candle to his 1988 classic “Bull Durham”) and Drake finally giving Johnny Manziel his long-awaited shout-out in his new single “Draft Day,” it’s safe to say that the draft has been on everybody’s mind.
The experts are calling this one of the deepest draft classes in history – and with three Aggies projected to hear their names called somewhere in the top 10 – it’s the best representation of Aggies in the draft in history and will be the fourth-straight year an Aggie has been taken in the top 10.
With every sportswriter and football guru spitting their opinions on how the draft will shake down, now it’s my turn, and from the words of Drake himself, “You know I had to do it for you.”
So, without further adieu, here is my Mock Draft 12.0: A&M Edition.
No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel
As much as I’d love for Manziel to stay in Texas, I just don’t see the Texans taking him at one. If the Texans don’t end up trading the No. 1 pick (which I find likely), I think it’s near impossible to pass on Jadeveon Clowney, this year’s unanimous top prospect. Pair Clowney and J.J. Watt together and Houston’s defensive line will be living in the backfield, haunting quarterbacks’ dreams.
Jacksonville needs an identity, and Manziel is just the type of quarterback to bring that identity to the table. The Jags have failed to make the playoffs since 2007 and adding Manziel would bring some spice into a dull situation. It also wouldn’t be terrible to see Joeckel manning Manziel’s blind side again.
No. 6 Atlanta Falcons –
Jake Matthews
Assuming the Falcons stick at No. 6 and don’t try and move up to get Clowney, I think Matthews could step in and make a real impact. Atlanta’s quarterback Matt Ryan was thrown to the ground a career-high 44 times last season, compared to a previous high of 28. Bagging an experienced blocker to keep Ryan’s jersey clean is essential for the Falcons, and if that’s what they are looking for, Matthews is their guy. With 45 consecutive starts to end his career at A&M, Matthews brings the skill and durability to be a plug-and-play starter in the league.
No. 10 Detroit Lions –
Mike Evans
Evans should go before No. 10, possibly No. 7 to Tampa Bay or even No. 2 to the St. Louis Rams, but Detroit is where I want him. Think about it – Evans lining up opposite of Megatron with Matthew Stafford throwing him the ball and Reggie Bush in the backfield. Talk about explosive. Pairing Evans and Megatron would be the wide-receiver equivalent of Watt and Clowney, making them one of the most feared receiving duos in the NFL.
If the three Aggies are selected in the top 10 it will be the first time since the 1994 draft that A&M has had three players selected in the first round and the first time since 1958 – when Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow and Charlie Kreuger were selected at No. 2 and No. 9, respectively – that A&M will have two players selected in the top 10.
Nobody can perfectly predict what will happen on Thursday or where each A&M player will ultimately fall. However, I can predict that come Thursday three players will make Texas A&M history, and whichever team Manziel suits up for next year will gain at least one more fan.

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