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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Aggies' Luke Joeckel leaving early for NFL

By Chris Low


Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel had been weighing the possibility of returning for his senior season, but the reality that he will likely be a top-10 pick, and possibly even a top-5 pick, was too much to pass up.

Joeckel announced Tuesday that he's declared for the NFL draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper has Joeckel No. 5 overall on his latest Big Board of the top 25 NFL draft prospects. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Joeckel won the Outland Trophy this season as the top interior lineman in college football.

The question now: Will Texas A&M right tackle Jake Matthews follow Joeckel into the draft, or will he stay for his senior season? Matthews has also been projected as a first-round pick by some analysts.

Here's an updated list of SEC players who've declared for the NFL draft. The deadline is Jan. 15: