Texas A&M loses a few vital pieces to the NFL from their successful 2012 season as the Aggies looked quite comfortable in their new surroundings in the SEC, and while Luke Joeckel, Christine Michael and DaMontre Moore are big losses, the toughest to replace will be wide receiver, Ryan Swope.
With Johnny Manziel ready for an encore performance to his Heisman winning campaign in 2012, he will need a trusted weapon and target to deliver the ball to now that Swope is headed to the next level. Swope was second on the team last season in receptions and yards, but led the team with eight touchdown grabs.
One player that may be the first in line to take Swope’s starting spot opposite Mike Evans is incoming freshman Ricky Seals-Jones. Jones, at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, presents an imposing figure on the field and could develop into a promising secondary target in Kevin Sumlin’s offense.
His route-running needs some refinement and he doesn’t always play as big as his size would suggest, but if Manziel makes it a point to find him, especially in jump ball situations, Seals-Jones can be a serviceable replacement for Swope.
He won’t be as reliable and consistent as Swope, but then again, it’s tough to expect that from a freshman. However, if he can have a type of freshman season that Evans had last year when he had 82 catches, 1182 yards and five touchdowns, Manziel’s numbers may actually look better the year after winning the Heisman.
Seals-Jones has a much higher ceiling than that of Swope, but if he can’t replicate at least a semblance of the reliability and consistency that the latter brought to the offense, then he may find himself on the sidelines and watching others shine with Manziel.
I don’t think he wants to miss out on his opportunity to develop with a Heisman winner slinging him the ball, so look for him to emerge early in summer camp and develop into Manziel’s newest security blanket.