Although he had a lot of success protecting Ryan Tannehill, Luke Joeckel really made a name in 2012 as he was protecting the blindside of Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. Standing at 6-6 and 306 pounds, he was a rock all year for Manziel on the left side.
When watching tape of Joeckel, you won’t see him as an overly flashy offensive tackle. The Texas A&M offense had required Joeckel to be more of a sit back and wait blocker rather then a mauler. He has the ability to take on bull rushers as well as guy rushing with speed, both at a high-level.
The combination of his foot work and strong ability with his hands has proven to be an aggravation for pass rushers. He makes it look incredibly effortless, using his long arms to hold defenders steady. At times, I’ve noticed rushers giving up after first and second attempts as he just seems to be impenetrable.
Outside of the pure ease he shows in pass protection, there were two things that really stood out to me as I watched Joeckel. The first is how often he tends to use the cut block. He seems to do it very effectively, but it makes me wonder a bit. I know he’s not a super quick player, but does he worry that he’ll get beat if he doesn’t use the technique? It’s something I’d like to see him rely on a bit less at the next level.
The other thing that really stood out was how well he squares his body when he goes to the second level. This wasn’t necessarily something you saw him do frequently, but when he was very effective when he had to take on linebackers or safeties. A number of big plays were sprung for the Texas A&M offense throughout the year due to him sealing off linebackers at the second level. His positioning was always exactly where it needed to be and that is an extremely valuable asset.
The big knock against Joeckel comes in the run game. He’s not really the guy who is going to come off the line like a freight train and push his defender way off the ball. A large part of this is because he just wasn’t asked to do so very often in the offense he played in. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t but he would probably find more success in doing so if he bulked up his frame a bit.
Overall, Joeckel projects to be the type of guy who can quietly be a rock on the offensive line with many years. He won’t blow you away with raw power but he has a very solid skill set that some quarterback in the NFL will soon grow to love.
Check out this video of Joeckel against Florida, via DraftBreakdown.com.
From the Eagles point of view, the question will be whether or not Joeckel will be on the board when they pick fourth overall. He may very well be the selection of Andy Reid with the first overall pick in the draft. However, if Joeckel is on the board, I think he is the type of player that is really hard to give up.
Another question for the Eagles would be whether or not Joeckel could play on the right side, assuming Jason Peters returns from injury at the left tackle position. If so, that would make for two solid players on the outside with the option to move Joeckel to the left side down the road.
Again, the Eagles may not even have an opportunity to get their hands on Joeckel. However, if the opportunity presents itself, it sure would be hard to pass him up.