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Jaguars draft Luke Joeckel second overall 04.25.13 at 8:28 pm ET
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The Jaguars scooped up the man many believed would go first overall in the pre-draft process, drafting Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel after Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher went first overall to Kansas City.

Joeckel is the second offensive tackle the Jaguars have taken in the top 10 in the last four years, as they drafted Virginia’s Eugene Monroe eighth overall in 2009. Monroe was the team’s starting left tackle last season, but he can be moved to right tackle while Joeckel man’s Blaine Gabbert’s blindside.

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Chiefs choose Eric Fisher first overall at 8:19 pm ET
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The Chiefs chose Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher with the first overall pick of the NFL Draft Thursday night, confirming week-long speculation that they would take Fisher over Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel.

Joeckel was long believed to be the first player chosen, but he and Fisher, who stands at 6-foot-7 2/8 to Joeckel’s 6-foot-6, were neck and neck throughout the pre-draft process.

The selection of Fisher gives the Chiefs a left tackle of the future, as the team franchised current starter Branden Albert this offseason. Albert could potentially be moved to the right side, or they could trade him, with the latter appearing to be the more likely scenario.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel,
Final Mock Draft: Eric Fisher leapfrogs Luke Joeckel at 8:07 am ET
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Draft day finally is upon us. Though I still long for the olden days of all-day Saturday, all-day Sunday action, it’s still the best time of the year — even if we have to wait until prime time.

Before we get to the good stuff, I just want to point out that this is my eighth year of doing mock drafts, and it has by far been the most challenging year, for quite a few reasons.

First of all, it’€™s just a weak class. There are four great offensive linemen in tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher, and guards Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. After that, there are some good pass-rushers and two or three plus corners, but the star power in this class is highly lacking. For that reason, when mocking these picks, I found myself frequently coming to spots where the team would want to trade down, but who would want to trade up?

The uncertainty at the quarterback position also makes things tough to predict. There are teams that need quarterbacks, but do they like Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib enough to spend first-rounders on them? The aforementioned lack of star power in this draft applies to signal-callers especially. The guess here is that Smith goes somewhere in the top six picks — to either the Eagles, Browns or a team that trades up — and the Bills make their pick at No. 8 and later move back into the first round to grab Nassib.

Typically, good mock drafts get six picks right, while great ones get 8-10 picks right. The bar should be lowered for this one.

1. Chiefs (2-14) — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Deciding between Joeckel and Fisher might be a closer call than many think.

2. Jaguars (2-14) — Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

Jordan will help a defense that finished last in the league with 20 sacks last season.

3. Raiders (4-12) — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The safest pick they could make, but remember, Robert Gallery once was considered safe.

4. Eagles (4-12) — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Joeckel still is arguably the best player in the draft. This would be quite the steal.

5. Lions (4-12) — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

A true No. 1 corner to team with the re-signed Chris Houston.

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Read More: 2013 NFL draft, Eric Fisher, Geno Smith, Luke Joeckel
NFL Mock Draft, Take 3: Free agency forces alterations 03.22.13 at 7:12 am ET
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Now that free agency is well under way and some big trades and signings have taken place, team needs have been altered quite a bit.

That makes it the perfect time to drop a new mock draft, with revised team needs and continued stock fluctuation among prospects making for a different first-round look than the one that existed a matter of days ago. Without further ado, here’€™s our latest look at the first round:

1. Chiefs (2-14) — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Yes, the Chiefs franchised one of their tackles in Branden Albert, but they also released Eric Winston. That makes the selection of Joeckel more feasible, as they can play Albert on the right side and let Joeckel protect Alex Smith‘€™s blindside.

2. Jaguars (2-14) — Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Jaguars didn’€™t make much noise early on in free agency, so their needs remain largely the same at this point: quarterback, front seven, defensive back, offensive line ‘€¦ pretty much everywhere. They finished last in the league with 20 sacks last season, and Jordan would step in and address that better than free agent signee Geno Hayes.

3. Raiders (4-12) — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
The Raiders have added Vance Walker, Pat Sims and Jason Hunter to their defensive line via free agency. To save you some Wikipedia work, none of the three are star players, so while depth has been added to a very poor defensive line, the problem is by no means solved. If the Raiders elect to spend the third pick on a defensive tackle, the decision should be a little bit tougher now that Star Lotulelei has been medically cleared and turned in a strong performance at his pro day.

4. Eagles (4-12) — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Talk about a secondary in flux. The Philadelphia secondary was supposed to be strong after the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha two years ago, but they’€™ve already pulled the plug on that experiment by releasing Asomugha and letting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walk as a free agent (Rodgers-Cromartie took a one-year deal with the Broncos). They’€™ve upgraded the safety position with the signings of Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung, but cornerback still is a big area of concern despite the signings of Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.

5. Lions (4-12) — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
This would pretty much be the ideal scenario for the Lions. With Jeff Backus retired and Gosder Cherilus having signed with the Colts, the Lions need major help at tackle. Fisher could step in and replace Backus at left tackle and provide the Lions with strong value at this pick. Mike Mayock feels the gap between Joeckel and Fisher is very small, so this would mean landing potential first-overall talent with the fifth pick.

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Read More: 2013 NFL draft, Kawann Short, Luke Joeckel,
Post-combine Mock Draft: Offensive linemen dominate top 10 02.28.13 at 9:20 am ET
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With the annual scouting combine in the books for 2013, it’s time to take another look at the overall landscape of the first round.

The overall takeaway from Indianapolis is that this is a draft that’s all about offensive linemen, boasting depth at tackle and featuring two blue-chip guard prospects. None of the tackles may be Joe Thomas, but there are enough of them that any team in need of someone to protect its quarterback’s blind side should have options.

One team need changed at the top, as the Chiefs don’t even have to think about reaching for Geno Smith after trading for Alex Smith.

1. Chiefs (2-14) — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I don’€™t project trading of picks in mock drafts, but I’€™ve never wanted to more in my life. Now that the Chiefs have addressed the quarterback position with their second-round pick, they should re-sign Branden Albert, trade down and fill another need. Left tackle isn’€™t a big need, and letting Albert walk just so they can draft another good left tackle to replace him wouldn’€™t provide them with much organizational progress.

2. Jaguars (2-14) — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
A lot of folks think that Dee Milliner could be the pick here. Yes, he ran well at the combine, but Milliner as a top-five pick, let along a top-two pick, is a bit of a stretch. The Jaguars need sacks almost as much as they need a quarterback, so Jones is the better fit.

3. Raiders (4-12) — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
This might be a tad high for Floyd, but he helped his stock immensely at the combine and could now be the first defensive lineman selected in what is a very deep class at the position. Both Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are free agents, the latter of whom was arrested over the weekend.

4. Eagles (4-12) — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Mike Mayock says that Fisher has closed the gap between he and Joeckel considerably, so there’€™s a chance that the Central Michigan product won’€™t even be on the board by the time this selection is made. If teams trade up with teams not from Kansas City, he would likely be their target.

5. Lions (4-12) — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Lions would have a really tough decision to make if this scenario were to arise: Do they add a potential star corner and address what is seemingly always an area of need, or do they grab a defensive end to replace the aging Kyle Vanden Bosch? Both Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril are free agents.   Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2013 combine, 2013 NFL draft, Geno Smith, Lane Johnson
Luke Joeckel hasn’t met with Chiefs, off to good start at combine 02.21.13 at 3:59 pm ET
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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.

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Ready to kick things off at the Combine at 9:59 am ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Hello from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the annual scouting combine is underway.

On Thursday, offensive linemen, tight ends and special teamers will meet with the media. NFL coaches and executives will also address the media over the four days, with Ryan Grigson, Chip Kelly and Rex Ryan among those set to speak Thursday.

As far as players go, Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel figures to be the biggest name in focus Thursday. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman figures to be in the mix to go first overall in April’s draft, though a lot of that will depend on whether the Chiefs bring back starting left tackle Branden Albert.

The workout schedule is as follows:

Saturday: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
Sunday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday: Defensive backs

Check back for updates from Christopher Price and yours truly through Sunday.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, Luke Joeckel, Ryan Grigson,



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