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Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft. The standout defender will skip the Aggies' Texas Bowl showdown against No. 20 Oklahoma State to begin preparation for the draft process. Cooper announced his intentions via social media. He earned CBS Sports All-American honors 2023 after racking up a team-high 17 tackles for a loss and eight sacks. 

Cooper was one of just two SEC off-ball linebackers to finish with at least eight sacks this year. He also tied for second in the conference with two forced fumbles and his two pass breakups ranked third among linebackers.   

Cooper has long been an important figure on Texas A&M's defense. He worked his way into the linebacker rotation as a redshirt freshman in 2021 and nabbed a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team with 58 total tackles, 5.5 for a loss, and one interception. Cooper became a consistent starter in 2022 and -- despite missing some time due to injury -- finished fourth on the team with 61 total tackles.

Cooper's lofty pedigree dates back all the way to his high school days. He signed with the Aggies in 2020 out of Covington, Louisiana as the No. 115 prospect nationally and No. 9 outside linebacker. 

Cooper's draft stock

Cooper is in line to be the second Texas A&M linebacker taken in the NFL Draft since 2014. The 2024 CBS Sports NFL Draft Prospect Rankings rank Cooper as the No. 75 player on the board and No. 5 linebacker, putting him squarely in third-round range. But in his most recent mock draft, Chris Trapasso projected Cooper to the Miami Dolphins with the No. 31 overall pick. 

"Cooper was a star in another disappointing year at Texas A&M, and the Dolphins would like more long-term stability at that second-level position." Trapasso wrote

At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Cooper has the length to get after the passer and make plays in the backfield, as evidenced by his highly-disruptive stat line. He also boasts extensive experience playing special teams which gives him extra value and a route to early playing time at the next level. 

What it means for Texas A&M 

Replacing Cooper isn't going to be easy. He was the only player on Texas A&M's roster -- regardless of position -- with at least 80 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and six sacks. The Aggies are also set to lose key reserve Chris Russell Jr., who played 240 snaps and was often the first linebacker off the bench. 

Luckily for TAMU, it's set to return 247Sports' True Freshman All-American Taurean York, who started alongside Cooper all season. The former three-star prospect finished his first collegiate season with 66 total tackles, 8.5 for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. 

Veteran backup Jurriente Davis has another year of eligibility after playing in just two games this season. However, no linebacker on Texas A&M's roster outside of Cooper, York and Russell played more than 33 snaps in 2023. 

That means the Aggies could turn to the portal to get some veteran depth at the very least. They often play just two linebackers at a time, so York already has a starting spot locked down for the foreseeable future. Texas A&M signed three linebackers in 2023, including York, and have three more on the way from the 2024 class to bolster the ranks.