Those teams near the top of the selection order in the 2013 NFL draft in need of offensive line help got a big boost when it was announced that Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel will make himself eligible for the upcoming draft. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Joeckel is NFLDraftScout's number-one draft prospect, and may very well be the best player in the draft when all is said and done. Without a marquee quarterback this year as there was in 2012 with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Joeckel has a chance of hearing his name called with the first pick, which is currently owned by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I love my teammates and we have such a great team coming back,” Joeckel said earlier this month about his potential decision. “It'd just be so hard to leave College Station and leave my friends. We have a lot back, too. We do lose [defensive end] Damontre [Moore] and we have senior linebackers, but we think we have some guys that will step up. “It's just a rough decision both ways. There are so many pros and cons. It's going to take a lot of time and a lot of prayer.”
Joeckel has the kind of excellent pass-blocking technique that made USC's Matt Kalil attractive as the highest-picked offensive lineman in 2012 (selected fourth overall by the Minnesota Vikings), but he's also a bit nastier in the run game. As the primary protector for two mobile quarterbacks in Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel, Joeckel is also asked to run-block with authority and sustain blocks longer than some other left tackles, and he does these things with great authority.