The 2020 NFL Draft is mere hours away, giving many of us a small taste of what it’s like to have live sports content again. It seems unlikely that your Texas A&M Aggies will have a player’s name called in the first round tonight (though Justin Madubuike has an outside shot). But A&M has had more than their share of top round talent, with 19 first round picks since 1990. So in true quarantine content-starved fashion, we’ve ranked every Texas A&M first round pick of the past 30 years, from worst to first.
This list obviously includes several players who are still in the middle of their career, and for our purposes, we ranked them only on what they’ve already accomplished, not on what they can potentially do in the future. But with that out of the way, lets get to the list. We’ll start with worst, and you probably know exactly where this will start.
19. Johnny Manziel (QB)
22nd Pick, Cleveland Browns (2014)
Johnny Manziel was far from the highest draft pick in A&M history, but was easily the most high profile. The brash Heisman winner was chaos personified on the football field, and fans in College Station and Cleveland had high hopes for Johnny Football. But we all know how this story ended. After inconsistent play, and even more inconsistent off-field conduct, the Browns cut Manziel after only two seasons, and after short stints in the CFL and the AAF, his football days are seemingly over.
18. Patrick Bates (S)
12th pick, Oakland Raiders (1993)
Bates had only 106 tackles in four seasons for the Raiders and Falcons, and off-field problems expedited his departure from the Raiders, and soon the NFL entirely. ESPN ranked him 37th in the top 50 busts in NFL Draft history.
17. Reggie Brown (LB)
17th pick, Detroit Lions (1996)
Although not initially expected to be highly drafted, Brown’s performance at the NFL Combine boosted his stock, and he was selected 17th overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1996 NFL Draft. In his second season, he recorded 2.5 sacks to go along with two interceptions, both of which went for touchdown returns.
But Brown’s career was cut short when he suffered a spinal cord contusion while assisting on a tackle of New York Jets halfback Adrian Murrell in the final game of the 1997 season. He lay motionless for 17 minutes on the turf at the Pontiac Silverdome, briefly losing consciousness, with CPR saving his life. Brown’s career was over after only 26 games, but emergency surgery saved him from using a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Obviously his short-lived career was no fault of his own, it’s just a tragic reality of how fragile an NFL career can be.
16. Cedric Ogbuehi (OT)
21st pick, Cincinnati Bengals (2015)
Ogbuehi became the fourth A&M offensive lineman in a row to be taken in the first round, but his career has not gone according to plan. He played four seasons in Cincy, and after the Bengals declined his 5th year option, he signed with Jacksonville in 2019 and is now under contract in Seattle. He has started only 25 games in five NFL seasons.
15. Luke Joeckel (OT)
2nd pick, Jacksonville Jaguars (2013)
After a major injury in his rookie season, Joeckel moved from RT, to LT, to LG. After four seasons he was released by Jacksonville and spent one season in Seattle. He as not played in the NFL since 2017.
14. Quentin Coryatt (LB)
2nd pick, Indianapolis Colts (1992)
Coryatt, of “The Hit” fame, never quite replicated his Aggieland success in the pros. In a career marred by multiple season-ending injuries as well as several moves between outside and middle linebacker, he made 100+ tackles only once in seven seasons in the NFL.
13. Sammy Davis (CB)
30th pick, San Diego Chargers (2003)
Davis played for the Chargers for three seasons before spending single seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started 16 games in his rookie season, but never started more than ten games in a season between 2004 and 2007. He finished his career with 173 tackles and three interceptions. It was close between he and Coryatt, but we gave Sammy the nod here since expectations were much lower for an end of the first round player than they were for a #2 overall pick.
12. Germain Ifedi (OT)
31st pick, Seattle Seahawks (2016)
Ifedi has started 60 games over four seasons in Seattle, but they declined his fifth year option this past offseason, and he signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears.
11. Greg Hill (RB)
25th pick, Kansas City Chiefs (1994)
Hill spent his early years in a committee with future Hall of Famer Marcus Allen in Kansas City, but never became a true feature back. In six career seasons in the NFL, Hill rushed for a total 3,218 yards and 12 touchdowns.
10. Ryan Tannehill (QB)
8th pick, Miami Dolphins (2012)
One year ago Tannehill likely would have been a few spots farther down this list. He spent several years as a good but not great starter in Miami, was injured for all of 2017 before losing his job in 2018. But the 2019 season saw Tannehill supplant starter Marcus Mariota in Tennessee and lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. He led the league in passer rating, made the Pro Bowl and was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Oh, and then he got PAID.
9. Jake Matthews (OT)
6th pick, Atlanta Falcons (2014)
Matthews’ NFL career got off to a rocky start when he was named the worst starting tackle in the league by Pro Football Focus in 2014. But he would be named their most improved player one year later, and earn a Pro Bowl spot in 2018. He has been the starting left tackle in Atlanta for the duration of his six-year career.
8. Kevin Smith (CB)
17th pick, Dallas Cowboys (1992)
Now we’re getting into the guys who truly lived up to the hype. Smith played nine seasons for the Cowboys, helping them win three Super Bowls and being named an All Pro in 1996. He finished his career with 278 tackles and 19 interceptions.
7. Ty Warren (DT)
13th pick, New England Patriots (2003)
Warren anchored the Patriots defends during the heart of their dynasty years. He was First Team All Pro in 2007 and won two Super Bowls in New England. He wrapped up his decade-long career with two seasons in Denver.
6. Myles Garrett (DE)
1st pick, Cleveland Browns (2017)
Garrett has been the productive edge rusher that the Browns hoped they were getting when he became the first #1 overall pick in A&M’s history three years ago. Despite an injury-shortened rookie season and a suspension shortened 2019, Garrett has amassed 30.5 sacks in only 35 starts. He made the Pro Bowl in his lone full season. But fair or not, the helmet swing heard round the world is what he is most known for so far in his NFL career. Myles has been reinstated, and has plenty of career left to put together some eye-popping stats, and hopefully disprove those who have condemned his character in the past six months.
5. Sam Adams (DT)
8th pick, Seattle Seahawks (1994)
Defensive tackle isn’t a often a flashy position, but Sam Adams managed to be a run-stuffing force for 14 NFL seasons. He made three Pro Bowls, and won Super Bowl XXXV as a part of a dominant Baltimore Ravens defense.
4. Aaron Glenn (CB)
12th pick, New York Jets (1994)
Glenn made three Pro Bowls and played in the NFL for 15 seasons. He finished his career with 634 tackles and 41 interceptions. He also excelled as a return man with 2,697 return yards and 8 return touchdowns to his name. Today he is the Defensive Backs Coach for the New Orleans Saints.
3. Mike Evans (WR)
7th pick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014)
There are so many superlatives to describe Mike Evans’ NFL career, and at only 26, he still has several productive years left. Evans has made three Pro Bowls, and already holds several NFL records, including the youngest player to reach 7,000 receiving yards, youngest player to have 200+ receiving yards in a game, and most seasons of 1,000+ receiving yard seasons to begin a career (six, tied with Randy Moss). He is also Tampa Bay’s career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Oh, and now he has Tom Brady throwing to him.
2. Richmond Webb (OT)
9th pick, Miami Dolphins (1990)
Many younger Aggies likely aren’t familiar with Webb, but he made seven consecutive Pro Bowls to begin his career. He started 164 games over 13 NFL Seasons. He was named to the NFL’s 1990s All Decade Team as well as the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. Shockingly, he is not yet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1. Von Miller (LB)
2nd pic, Denver Broncos (2011)
This should surprise no one. Von was a dominant player from the start, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012. He has been a Pro Bowler every year of his career (eight times), and was the MVP of the Broncos’ Super Bowl XL win over the Carolina Panthers. Miller holds Broncos’ team records for sacks in Career (106.0), sacks in a single season (18.5 in 2012), sacks in a playoff career (6.5), sacks in a single playoff season (5 in 2015), sacks in a single playoff game (2.5 on both January 24, 2016 against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship and February 7, 2016 against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50).
Yeah, he’s good.