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Cotton Bowl: Texas A & M vs. Oklahoma, NFL Draft Prospect Watch

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Today's game between Texas A & M and Oklahoma is a good one when it comes to 2013 NFL Draft prospects. The biggest name in the game is quarterback Johnny Manziel, also known as Johnny Football, also known as Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. And he is fun to watch, but he is not a draft eligible prospect. Fear not, there are no less than six players who could flirt with the first round and three who are locks for the first round if they all enter the draft, and if they don't blow it during the pre-draft process.

Let's start with Oklahoma Sooners. I mentioned that there are six players who could flirt with the first round and three locks. Well, the three players who might flirt with the first round are all on the Sooners.


Landry Jones, QB

The most intriguing prospect in this game is quarterback Landry Jones. Landry Jones has mobility, he can throw a very accurate pass, he has a big arm, he has good size, is a starter who has won many games in his career, and has been super productive, in spite of all of that I just don't love Jones. I just don't believe Jones will ever be a guy who will stand in the pocket look down the barrel at J.J. Watt, DeMarcus Ware, etc. and deliver a beautiful pass down the field. He pocket presence is terrible, and I don't believe he possess the athletic arrogance that makes talented quarterbacks great in the NFL. But his skill set braced with an underwhelming quarterback class could have him flirting with the first round after he goes through the rigors of the pre-draft process.

Tony Jefferson, S

I really like this safety class more than most, I think it can turn out to be a very good one. One of the players who makes this a good safety class is safety Tony Jefferson. Jefferson has the athletic ability and ball skills to be a very good center fielder in the NFL, though most like him even more in run support. Jefferson could end up being the first safety selected.

Lane Johnson, OT

Johnson has played great this year. He was not thought of much prior to the season, but the buzz now is that there are a number of teams that consider him a first round prospect. Johnson has moved around playing tight end and defensive end in college (and was a quarterback in high school and at Kilgore College ). He's 6-foot-7,307 pounds and very athletic. He has terrific length and the great feet. Johnson has to get stronger, and he has to work on his hand placement and drops, but he has a very high ceiling. Fringe first rounder.

Kenny Stills, WR

Stills is a guy who makes plays all over the field for Oklahoma. He is used primarily in the slot now, but has experience on the outside. Stills can make big plays down the field, but he has excelled at going over the middle. He's a tough blocker. His father was a NFL safety. Stills is a smooth athlete and makes a ton of acrobatic catches. i really like him, though the Giants don't necessarily need him. He's a great value in the third round for me, but I wouldn't be nervous in the second.

DeMontre Hurst, CB

The next prospect on the Sooners is cornerback DeMontre Hurst. Hurst is a smooth athlete who has good speed, but he doesn't have great size. He's listed at 5-10, 183 pounds. Hurst doesn't get challenged often and has earned the respect of quarterbacks in college football. He looks like an early day three prospect right now.

JaMarkus McFarland, DT

McFarland is an athletic guy (listed at 6'2 288) who hasn't made the kind of impact the Sooners expected coming out of high school, but finally cracked the starting lineup this year. McFarland is an intriguing guy late in the draft.

Fullback Trey Millard* is a good player, but the Giants are not in the market for a full back. Other names to watch: defensive tackle Stacy McGee, punter Tress Brown, and Wide receiver Justin Brown.

Texas A & M

Texas A & M has three locks for the first round as of today, and all three could end up in the top ten picks, however none of them are seniors so they have to officially declare by January 15th. .

Damontre Moore, DE/OLB

Moore exploded onto the scene this year to the tune of 80 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks (though he was productive last year with 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, the difference is people put more stock in the numbers this year when he was playing in the SEC). Moore has good length at 6'4, but at 250 pounds might be more of a 34 OLB in the NFL. Moore has a relentless motor and good, but not great athletic ability. Moore uses his hands very well and has good football instincts. He'll likely be selected before the Giants pick at 19, but if he's there they could consider him if they think he has the enough size and power to be a defensive end in their system.

Luke Joeckel, OL

Joeckel is the number one ranked player on a few big boards I've seen. Joekcel is a terrific offensive tackle prospect and I don't really want to write too much about him because it looks like he'll definitely be gone before the Giants pick, but stranger things have happened. (Though you could watch him play to see how he'd look in Eagles green). He's 6-6, 310 pounds.

Jake Matthews, OT

If you have a chance to draft this guy at 19th overall you must do it, Jerry Reese! The rumor is Matthews is leaning towards going back to school. Matthews has a great pedigree being one of the Matthews clan. Matthews is 6-6,305 pounds, very functionally strong and athletic enough to be considered at left tackle in the NFL though he has played right tackle at A & M. Matthews is a terrific run blocker and would be an ideal fit with the New York Giants, if he decides to declare and if he is available when the Giants pick.

Sean Porter, LB

The opinions on Porter are all over the map. Porter is a linebacker prospect who had an exceptional 2011 season. In 2011, Porter racked up 17 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks and 79 tackles. Porter had great expectations this year, but wasn't nearly as productive. Listed at 6'2 230 pounds. Porter's biggest asset his is athletic ability. A good coverage guy with good speed (rumored to be about 4.6, which would be top 10 for linebackers at the combine in most years). Porter is intriguing player, but the question is where do you put him? Can he play SAM in a 4-3, he'll have to get better at taking on blockers? Is he big enough to be a 34 rush linebacker? Does he play 4-3 weakside? Good quality player though coming off a somewhat disappointing season. Round three pick for me.

Ryan Swope, WR

A guy that is really fun to watch play. Swope doesn't have great size, but enough size (6-foot, 205 pounds). Swope has excellent hands and has been one of the most productive players in Aggies history. Swope has deceptive speed . He's tough as nails and looks like a really nice slot receiver in the league who can get deep and make big plays (a poor man's version of Victor Cruz is what you're hoping you get). I think a lot will depend on his combine workout because of his questionable speed. I'll say early 4th round right now.

Christine Michael, RB

Michael has been robbed of some of his explosiveness because of a broken leg and a ACL tear, but he he looks like a great power back option in the NFL. Michael gets the football and takes it immediately up the field. He's tough as nails. He's listed at 5-11, 220 pounds. A day three pick who could be a good compliment to David Wilson.

Other players to watch cornerback Dustin Harris, and defensive linemen Spencer Nealy.

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