INDIANAPOLIS — It’s always interesting to see players’ characters when dealing with them at the scouting combine, but ultimately, work ethic and talent matter far more than whether a guy’s a polished speaker.
Yet when it comes to top prospects — like the guy who might get drafted first overall — they do need to present themselves well. Give Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel a check in that column, as the star left tackle had a very good showing with the media Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Offensive line is what I was born to play,” he said when asked about being a candidate for the top pick despite playing a less glamourous position. “I love the position. I love the physical aspect of it. You finish every single play with a one-on-one block. There’s not many other positions on the field like that. I love that part of it. I’m a background guy and that’s why I belong on the offensive line.”
Joeckel said he has not met with the Chiefs, who hold the first pick (so far, he’s met with only the Titans and the 49ers ), but that he would love to play in Kansas City, noting that he’s been there once and loved the barbecue. As for being the first overall pick, Joeckel said it’s something he wouldn’t take for granted.
“It would be a really cool,” he said. “It would be a dream come true. I want to get there, I’m definitely striving to be the No. 1 pick, going through this entire process and playing the season and all that kind of stuff, but my dream was just to play in the NFL. Being the No. 1 pick, after that it doesn’t really matter. You’ve got to and prove yourself in the NFL.”
Joeckel also shared a pretty interesting anecdote with reporters. A quarterback in junior high, Joeckel made the move to offensive line in high school, where his twin brother, Matt, was the quarterback. He said the two had a very competitive relationship — with occasional fisticuffs and more than occasional arguments.
“My junior year, I pancaked a guy and Matt was bouncing out of the pocket and I pancaked the guy right into Matt’s legs,” Joeckel said. “I get up, and instead up him yelling at me, I started yelling at him, like, ‘You gave me a sack. You’ve got to be a better athlete than that.’ He never chewed me out for giving up sacks. I chewed him out for me giving up a sack. That’s kind of our relationship.”
Joeckel still has to work out and prove his worth to the Chiefs and other teams at the top of the draft, but consider him off to a good start with his showing Thursday. He didn’t seem nervous and didn’t come off as overly cocky. Plenty depends on whether or not the Chiefs bring back starting left tackle Branden Albert , but if you’re a struggling team that’s about to invest a lot of money in a player in the hopes of selling a new direction to fans, Jeockel did nothing to hurt his case.