Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel took one more step to his potential position as the top prospect in the 2013 draft class with an impressive positional workout at the school's Pro Day on Friday. Joeckel chose to stand on him numbers from the scouting combine, but went though pad and player drills with Oakland Raiders offensive line coach Tony Sparano. It was an opportunity for Joeckel to show that he was coachable, and that he would respond well to NFL techniques. All involved seemed to be impressed -- the Kansas City Chiefs, owners of the first pick in this year's draft, set up a private workout with Joeckel on March 22.
“I think it went well, but who knows?,” Joeckel told Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram when asked about initial talks with Kansas City officials. “It’s them evaluating me, not me evaluating them. I think I did well. I think my tape shows I’m a good player. But it’s them making all the decisions.”
According to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who was on hand Friday, the Chiefs have an interesting dilemma to deal with if they choose to take an offensive tackle with that pick -- Joeckel, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson are all top-10 talents, and the tough part of the decision process starts now.
“If I’m Kansas City, I’m going to spend an awful lot of time with those three tackles," Mayock said. "Not just on the field. But finding out what kind of kids they are. If I’m going to invest a No. 1 pick in a tackle, I want to make sure that I’m putting all those millions of dollars into someone that’s not only a talented kid, but he’s a reliable kid.”
All 32 teams were on hand for the Pro Day, and all those teams were likely interested in the day defensive end Damontre Moore would have. Moore, estimated to be a first-round talent as a pass-rusher, had a disappointing combine, establishing just 12 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press and running a 4.94 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Those numbers did not ease the concerns of some that Moore needs more edge speed to be a true difference-maker on the outside at the NFL level.
Unfortunately, though Moore was able to improve his bench reps to 19 on Friday, he tweaked a hamstring injury during agility drills and was unable to re-run his 40, though he did look better in agility drills -- he locked in at 7.05 seconds in the three-cone drill, and 4.31 seconds in the short shuttle. Moore did his best to participate in positional drills, but questions still remain.
As A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said, that will leave NFL teams looking at Moore's tape.
"For him, his evaluation will be off video and how he played," Sumlin said. "He wouldn't be a projected first rounder if he didn't play like it."
Joeckel and Moore weren't the only interesting NFL prospects doing their thing. Receiver Ryan Swope, who turned heads with a 4.34 40 at the combine, stood on that number and worked in position drills. Swope is a possible get in the early rounds of the draft as a slot receiver, though a concussion history will be a concern to NFL teams. Running back Christine Michael, who ran a 4.54 40 at 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, has a lot of analysts excited as a player with a power-speed combination. Michael's main priority in Friday was to address rumors that he had overslept at the combine, which led him to miss meetings with a couple of NFL teams. Michael said that he was very sick in Indianapolis, and the medication he was taking caused him to oversleep. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Michael has apologized to those teams, and he has workouts scheduled with the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. Receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu set out to prove that his combine snub was a mistake, and he took some very quick steps in that direction, burning a 4.4 40 and looking good in catching drills.