Texas A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi had a tough decision to make as he considered whether to declare early entry for the 2014 NFL Draft before the January deadline, or return to the Aggies for his final college season.
But the way NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt sees it, Ogbuehi's ultimate decision to stay in school should be a lucrative one. Brandt projects Ogbuehi as a top-10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, noting that if it were to happen, Ogbuehi would mark five consecutive seasons in which a Texas A&M player has been selected that early (Von Miller, Ryan Tannehill, Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, Mike Evans).
Ogbuehi is the latest in a truly remarkable run of offensive tackles at Texas A&M. Joeckel manned the Aggies' left tackle position for two years, while Matthews was groomed at right tackle, and Joeckel became the No. 2 overall pick in 2013. When Matthews slid over to left tackle to replace Joeckel, Ogbuehi -- then a starting guard for TAMU -- filled in for Matthews at right tackle. And now with Matthews gone (the sixth overall pick this year), Ogbuehi will take his turn at the left-tackle spot that has been manned by two first-round picks before him.
He'll be the primary pass protector for a new face at the quarterback position for the Aggies. Yet, it's not as though Ogbuehi didn't distinguish himself on the right side last year. In fact, he told a reporter following Texas A&M's win over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl that he received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board; hence, the difficulty of his decision to return to TAMU.
So who is next in the tackle pipeline for Texas A&M? Another guard-turned-tackle operated at Ogbuehi's former spot on the right side in spring practice: Germain Ifedi. If he can make the transition as well as Ogbuehi did, keep an ear out for his name as well.