COLLEGE STATION (January 8, 2012) -- Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel is choosing the NFL over a final season of blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
The Outland Trophy winner said Tuesday he thought it was in his "best interest" to enter April's NFL draft. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said Joeckel was projected as a high first-round pick.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior started all 39 games at left tackle after graduating early from a Dallas-area high school so he could join the Aggies for spring drills in 2010.
Joeckel protected the blind side for Ryan Tannehill, a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins last year, before Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman in a record-setting 2012 season.