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Eight Texas A&M players invited to NFL Combine

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Three more than Texas. Raise the banner.

2014 NFL Combine Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NFL released it’s list of invitees to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, and it includes eight Texas A&M Aggies. Four of A&M’s invitees are seniors, while the other four chose to leave with a year of eligibility remaining to turn pro.

I’ll list some projected draft rounds for each guy below, but a great (or terrible) combine performance can change these drastically. It’s exceptionally common for teams to fall in love with guys with eye-popping measurables (I know, I heard it as I typed it). The point is, a lot can change between now and draft night in April.

The Scouting Combine begins Feb. 26 and runs through March 4 in Indianapolis.

Otaro Alaka, LB

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling with injuries early in his A&M career, Alaka missed only one game (the Taxslayer Gator Bowl win over NC State) in his final two seasons in College Station. Over that span he led the team in tackles for loss (26.5) and was second on the team in total tackles (157). He also had a combined 9.5 sacks along with a forced fumble and an interception. www.WalterFootball.com has Alaka ranked as the 18th-best outside linebacker in the draft, projecting to a selection in rounds 3-5.

Tyrel Dodson, LB

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dodson is leaving A&M early after leading the Aggies in total tackles over the past two seasons with 184. He also has four interceptions and six sacks in that span. Dodson is ranked as the 12th-best inside linebacker in the draft, projecting to a selection in rounds 3-5.

Kingsley Keke, DL

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Texas A&M Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Keke came to A&M as a defensive end, but once on campus, he bulked up and made the change to defensive tackle. That changed quickly during his senior season, when a lack of depth following an injury to Michael Clemons moved Keke back to his original position, and he thrived. In 2018, Keke led the team in sacks (7) and was second in tackles for loss (11). He is projected as the 26th-best defensive tackle in the draft, translating to a pick in rounds 5-7.

Daylon Mack, DL

NCAA Football: Alabama-Birmingham at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Mack came to A&M as a five-star player with limitless potential, despite showing flashes of greatness, his play remained inconsistent for much of his first three years in Aggieland. But Mack thrived in Mike Elko’s system. He clogged up the middle of the field for a defense that would finish third in the country in rushing defense. He is projected as the 25th-best defensive tackle in the draft (one spot ahead of Keke) and a 5-7 round pick.

Erik McCoy, C

NCAA Football: Belk Bowl-Wake Forest vs Texas A&M Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

McCoy was a three-year starter at center, anchoring an offensive line that helped propel Trayveon Williams to the greatest rushing season in Texas A&M history. He declared early for the NFL Draft, and is one of the highest-rated players in this A&M draft class, ranked as the second-best center in the draft. His projected is in rounds 2-3, but some mock drafts have him going in the late first round.

Jace Sternberger, TE

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Sternberger played only one season at A&M, but what a season is was. He was a consensus All American and led the team in receiving yards (832) and touchdown catches (10), the latter of which was a school record for a tight end. He leaves A&M with one year of eligibility remaining, but is ranked as the 5th-best tight end in the draft, likely going in rounds 2-4.

Trayveon Williams, RB

NCAA Football: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl-Texas A&M vs North Carolina State Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, Trayveon. He started for three seasons as the Aggies’ primary running back, and in 2018 set a school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,760. Despite leaving a year early, he leaves A&M third in all time rushing yards and fifth in all time rushing touchdowns. Due to his size, he is listed as the 27th-best back in the draft, being selected in the late rounds or perhaps as an undrafted free agent. But he seems like a guy who has the tape that might convince a team to take a risk on him sooner.

Donovan Wilson, S

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson has been a staple of the Aggie secondary since 2015, though he missed the 2017 season due to injury. He was third on the team in tackles in 2018, and has the ability to thrive in the NFL thanks to their lack of a consistently enforced targeting rule. He’s likely a late round pick if not an undrafted free agent.

Oh also Texas only has five combine invitees.