Three Texas A&M Aggies were selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Among the three, offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans went relatively quickly and were taken in the top-10 of the draft. Quarterback Johnny Manziel was projected to go early, possibly even at No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans, but had to wait until his name was selected at No. 22 by the Cleveland Browns. He may have waited longer, perhaps even into the second round, but the Browns moved up in the draft order to snatch the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.
Thus far, two of the three first round selections from Texas A&M have fared well in the NFL during their rookie seasons. Turns out, Jake Matthews of the Atlanta Falcons and Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made their mark on the league already, and Johnny Football is still struggling to make his presence known. Johnny did get his first start at QB for the Browns on Sunday after Brian Hoyer was benched. However, Manziel and the Browns had a dreadful day against their division and in-state rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. The entire Browns team played dazed and confused in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon, and Johnny followed suit, going 10-18 for a minuscule 80 yards and two interceptions.
The aforementioned Matthews and Evans have posted seasons that completely differ from Manziel’s first start. Matthews has proven to be an effective left tackle for the Falcons, protecting the blind side for his quarterback, Matt Ryan. Matthews, standing 6’5″ and weighing 309 pounds, is also part of the Matthews football dynasty family tree. His father, Hall of Fame offensive guard Bruce Matthews, has set the example for young Jake. In addition, Green Bay Packers linebacker, Clay Matthews happens to be Jake’s cousin. In a head-to-head matchup on December 8th, Jake held his own against his older cousin.
As for Evans, he has been an absolute beast in his rookie season with Tampa Bay. The 6’5″, 231-pound WR has used his size and physicality to become a dominant force for the Bucs. He has been the team’s main target in the red zone due to his size which helps him create mismatches against cornerbacks and safeties throughout the NFL. Evans is surely creating a name for himself throughout the league. So far in his rookie season, Evans has recorded 59 catches for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In due time, look for Johnny “Football” Manziel to develop into a decent NFL QB.
*Section Photo credit to Scott Halleran, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to John David Mercer, USA Today Sports.