Yes, life is good for the Aggies in College Station, Texas. It also good for many former star players living their dreams in the National Football League.
Heading into the 2018 season, there are currently 34 players from Texas A&M in the NFL, including three players — wide receiver Christian Kirk (Arizona Cardinals), safety Armani Watts (Kansas City Chiefs) and Damion Ratley (Cleveland Browns) — who were taken in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Whether they are stars from the old Big 12 Conference or Southeastern Conference, the Aggies have consistently seen their impact players thrive at the next level.
So in honor of Texas A&M entering its seventh season in the SEC, here are the Top 7 former Aggies stars in the NFL in 2018:
1. Von Miller (LB, Denver Broncos)
Before he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl 50 MVP, Von Miller was a problem for Big 12 offenses in College Station as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid. A Butkus Award winner (given to the nation’s top linebacker) and consensus first-team All-American as a senior, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker was selected No. 2 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft and has been wreaking havoc ever since. Miller is widely regarded as one of the best players in the entire league and his 83.5 sacks and 21 forced fumbles during his career are a big reason why.
2. Mike Evans (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Evans made his first big splash with the Aggies as the top target for Johnny Manziel during his 2012 Heisman Trophy season with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns, but didn’t stop there. He’s been a force in the NFL. In fact, the 6-foot-5 wide receiver is one fo the best pass catchers in the game with his combination of size and speed. Evans has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in each of his first four seasons with the Bucs and has shown no signs of slowing down.
3. Shane Lechler (P, Houston Texans)
A member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, the 41-year-old Lechler has been a mainstay in the NFL and is a lock for the Hall of Fame once he decides to hang up the cleats for good. Lechler has amassed over 1,400 punts in his career and has seven Pro Bowls and six first-team All-Pro selections to his name. Not to mention, he has an NFL record 47.6 average yards per punt in his career. It’s hard to find a better punter than Lechler anywhere.
4. Myles Garrett (DE, Cleveland Browns)
With 31 tackles, seven sacks and one forced fumble as a rookie, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft showed several promising signs for the future in Cleveland. It will take a lot more production to live up to the hype he created as a two-time first-team All-American with the Aggies, but there is no doubt the 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end has a promising future ahead.
5. Michael Bennett (DE, Philadephia Eagles)
The veteran Bennett has made more headlines for opening up on social activism than he has on the football field lately, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a sold player since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2009. Bennett has been to three Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, and now will provide defensive line depth to the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.
6. Ryan Tannehill (QB, Miami Dolphins)
Most die-hard Texas A&M fans will remember the days when Tannehill led the Aggies in receptions in 2009 before eventually taking over the starting quarterback role in the last half of the 2010 season. He has been a strong signal caller ever since, too, setting several Dolphins franchise records, including most passing completions in a single season (392 in 2014). Coming off a torn ACL will not be easy for Tannehill in 2018, but it will be nice to see him on the field once again.
7. Jake Matthews (OT, Atlanta Falcons)
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Matthews had a rocky start to his professional career as the worst-rated tackle in football his rookie season, but he has made significant improvements throughout the course of his career. He might not have the accolades many expected from him after an incredible college career, but he has started in a Super Bowl and played all 16 games in 2017 to prove his durability.
Germain Ifedi (OT, Seattle Seahawks), Justin Evans (S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Drew Kaser (P, Los Angeles Chargers), Josh Lambo (PK, Jacksonville Jaguars), Randy Bullock (PK, Cincinnati Bengals), Deshazor Everett (S, Washington Redskins), Christine Michael (RB, Indianapolis Colts).