Could Luke Joeckel Be Available At No. 4?

For months Luke Joeckel has been widely considered the top tackle in April’s draft, with Eric Fisher a beat behind.

That order is being questioned by Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, who says that according to NFL scouts and front office men that he has spoken to, Fisher is passing Joeckel on some draft boards.

What this means is NFL teams have begun to think Fisher can end up the better pro. Joeckel might already be all he can be. Fisher can be significantly better. “Because of his athleticism, he has more upside,” an NFC general manager said. “If you want upside, you take Fisher.”

Andy Reid‘s draft board is the most important at the moment. Most mocks have him selecting Joeckel with the first pick in the draft. If he opts for Fisher (or goes in a different direction altogether) the night will start with a most interesting twist.

All of this will be closely monitored by the Eagles. Tackle is a logical pick at No. 4, and they’ll be interested to see if one of these top linemen are available when they go on the clock.

Which would be a better fit?

Russ Lande did a piece comparing Joeckel and Fisher. He likened Joeckel to Browns’ left tackle Joe Thomas, and Fisher to Minnesota’s Matt Kalil. The Vikings picked Kalil with the No. 4 overall pick last year. Thomas was the third pick in ’07. He has made the Pro Bowl six times.

Lande calls Joeckel the more consistent player “but also more of a finesse, positional blocker…Fisher is a more explosive athlete who blocks with more of a nasty, aggressive temperament.”

Lande offers further analysis:

More of a positional, seal run blocker, Joeckel relies on his quickness to get into good blocking position with good leverage and is consistently able to pin man out of the play. On the other hand, Fisher gets after defender aggressively, delivers a blow and flashes the ability to get movement through a combination of strength, aggressiveness and rare competitiveness. This aggressive blocking style does lead to Fisher occasionally over-extending and missing blocks he is in position to make.

Fisher’s aggressive style would likely be appealing to Kelly, who once said he wants his offensive linemen to be like bouncers in a bar. Kelly talked about the qualities he wants in his offensive front when discussing the inside zone play at a Nike Coaching clinic in 2009.

We want to get off the ball and be a physical, downhill-running football team. This is not a finesse play. We teach our offensive linemen a play we call the bust block. The idea is to bust their sternums up against their spines on every play. We want to come off the ball, create a double-team, knock the crap out of the defender, and deposit him in the linebacker’s lap.

That sounds more like Fisher than Joeckel, though I’m sure he would find plenty to like about the stud Texas A&M tackle as well.

In terms of measurables, Fisher is 6-8, 305 and Joeckel is listed at 6-6, 306.  Fisher’s arms are 34 ½ inches compared to 34 ¼ for Joeckel.

There is a wild card in the tackle picture as well. Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson seems to be more in the conversation as a top-tier pick the closer we get to the draft. Several mock drafts have Johnson going to the Chargers at No. 11, other see him being snatched by Arizona at No. 7.  Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage called the 6-6 Johnson “the guy with the most potential at the position in the draft.”

If the Eagles see Johnson as a high-end tackle option, they could conceivably trade out of the No. 4 spot and still snare the kind of player they are looking for.

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  • GGeagle21

    of the 3, I would rather AQUIRE more picks and take Lane….but I will be heartbroken if Dion Jordan isn’t an Eagle…as for the OTs:
    -Fisher is the better athlete
    -Joekel is the technician. joekel’s dad played OT in college, so Joekel has been playing the position since Pee Wee football. He talks about, since pee wee days, his father has been teaching him about proper technique, proper hand placement…which makes sense in that he is such a freakishly polished Olineman at this point in his career. Joekel will get stronger, but this is pretty much what you will get with him, which isn’t bad! I wouldn’t be shocked if Joekel made the probowl as a rookie…

    but I think Lane and Fisher have more upside. Right now, Joekel is better, but I think they could eventually pass him…

    when you factor in Value, our roster…if you can add any one lineman in this draft, who would it be?…I would have to go with Kyle Long in rd2…Just that Bully, Bulldog type of Guard, who takes it really personal when you hit his QB..Already flourished in Kelly’s high tempo offense(Olineman are the hardest players to convert to that style)…would compete for starting RG spot from day one, but can also backup Todd Herremans at Tackle..Getting Long n round 2, is probably my ideal scenario

    • I was really hoping that Long would slip to the third, but I think that with the 4th pick in the second is a bit too early for him. I would love to draft Joekel or Fisher but totally agree on dropping back for Johnson and picking up some more picks. Who I would really like to see the in round 2 is Margus Hunt out of SMU. He is 25 but doesn’t have the years (wear n’ tear) of a typical guy that age. The kid is a monster and an athletic freak. Think a rough around the edges JJ Watt. If this kid cold get polished up he could be the steal of the draft. He projects as a late first early second guy. I will be watching the tail end of the draft to see where he goes!!!! My ideal first four rounds would be: (1)Fisher; (2) Hunt; (3) Long; (4) Geathers the NT from Georgia. I understand that is a long shot to get Hunt and Long to drop but keeping my fingers crossed.

      • GGeagle21

        yeah, but what would you do with Hunt? 5tec?…My eyes see the same thing as yours, an athletic freak of a monster…But, I find it hard to get excited about Hunt because of my personal Canadian Fireman Rule: Stay away from older players that play in the trenches!!! Be wary of older lineman, who’s grown man strength has already kicked in, making themselves into top prospects while playing against boys.
        If we were talking about a 25-27 year old Reciever or safety, with low mileage, I wouldnt even bring up the age issue…But a grown man that has been beating up on boys in the trenches is a prospect that worries me..then they get to the NFL and they have an immediate Oh S*** moment. I think its extremely important that a Dline/Oline prospect has significant room to still grow when they reach the NFL. They need to know, when they have that first Oh S*** moment, that they are playing against men, and that they arent even close to being a finished product (I think its important mentally, to know that being outclassed is only temporary)…When you are a grown man like Watkins, and you get bullied by another grown man, thats gotta be tough…what do you do? Lift some more weights?your only hope is to drastically improve your technique…but its always going to be hard to out technique guys that have been playing the game a decade longer than you have..I like Margus Hunt just like everyone else…but I try to make these personal rules for forming my oppinions, trying to learn from past mistakes to not get burnt again…so I cant say that Im comfortable with Hunt unless he falls to the 3rd.
        As for Long, Hey if you think your second round pick is way too high for him, there is certainly no harm in trading back 7 spots, picking up an extra 3rd or 4th round pick, and then take Long…someone like me would call that a homerun lol

        • Richard Colton

          Canadian Fireman Rule has just entered my vocabulary, but let me ask you a question – what do you see in Dennis Kelly that makes you think he can play?
          There’s a reason I wouldn’t mind seeing them go O-line with 2 of their first 3 picks.

          • GGeagle21

            lol…I have no problem whatsoever with them taking Oline with 2 of their first 3 picks…I just really dont want to see them take away an impact defender from the defense…I guess I like Dennis more than most…I have been on a line before that had 1 really inferior player, and I know the feeling of no matter how good you personally play, your unit is stuck in quicksand because of the one weak link…Last year was a mess. For Kelly to be a rookie, 5th round pick, and not completely drown in that mess of a situation really impressed me. I mean the kid wasnt commiting half the drive killing 3rd down penalties that veterans King and Bell would commit, calling back a foles 3rd down completion…Kelly NEVER panicked last year! Kelly isnt some project. He had a ton of playing time at Purdue and was named their offensive MVP after his Junior season. When he was drafted, he got a really terrible review from alot of guys..saying he had size, but a really low season, uncoordinatoed footwork. I go back and watch every Eagles game atleast a 2nd time throughout the week, rewinding every play a few times so I could see what certain guys are doing(yes I know, Im a maniac)..and Kelly was always one of the guys I watched.wasreally surprised with his footwork, after some of the bad reviews that I read..If you go back and really watch his play, he was by far our 2nd best Lineman after Mathis…He would get his arms on a defender, hold them off for a second, the defender would get free, and many times Kelly was able to recover and keep the pocket clean. If you go back and really watch him, he sprung a few of Bryce’s touchdowns with some key blocks which really impressed me. He was able to improve for the most part from 1 game to the next regardless of the slop sorrounding him. Aer a year of experience in that hell hole, and 2nd year improvements(so important being able to KNOW that you can play on that level), I wouldnt be surprised if Kelly was already completely capable of playing on a line with 4 good veterans.
            I would not be surprised to see Kelly competing for a starting position this year. At worst, I think Kelly will become a darn good backup..but I certainly see starter potential right now.

        • I think Hunt could bulk up and be a very solid 5 tec. He is still learning the game and has relied heavily on his athletic ability. With good solid coaching and a strong work ethic the second round price could be worthy. He isn’t a sure thing I understand that but the reward could be tremendous.

          • GGeagle21

            I wont dispute any of that. There is always an exception to any rule..I just dont know that I could justify Hunt with established football player like Hankins, Long, even Tank Carradine on the board….What do you view as more of a risk..Tank staying healthy or Hunt reaching his potential?

          • I haven’t watched much film on Tank nor have I put an extended look into him I would have to get back to you on that one. I just can’t get past the potential huge upside that Hunt would give.

          • GGeagle21

            Oh man, Tank is a treat…enjoy. I actually tried watching Bjoern, but it always ended up being THE TANK SHOW!! kind of like it’s tough to watch Devin Taylor(although he does have a chance to be the next Calaeus Cambell, tho I worry that he isn’t mean enough) because everytime I try and watch Devin, you can’t help end up watching Clowney

          • Yeah Clowney is serious!!!! I secretly hope we bad enough next year to steal him. We’ll see. Checking out Tank now.

          • I like what I saw, very quick and high energy. I just dont think that he would fit the bill for a 5 tec in the NFL (not big enough). He should be a solid DE in the 4-3 but I think that is his only position not scheme versitile, unless he can drop back into coverage.

      • After searching through a few mock drafts (I understand these are pure entertainment and not scientific but I get a decent sense) only 2 out of the 15 I looked at had Hunt in the first round. Looks like my second round dream choice could come true. We will see what happens. The one draft that I saw going into the third round left Long still available.

        • GGeagle21

          I really dont think you have to worry about him getting plucked in the 1st…I think there is a better chance of Hunt falling to the 3rd, than going in the 1st…I cant even decide what we wouuld do with him? Bulk him up a tad to play 5Tec, or slim him down to OLB him?..which one of our position coaches worked him out?actually I cant recall if we worked him out or not)

      • I also like Hunt, I think there is something to Hunt, and LSU’s Mingo. Montgomery plays with Mingo at LSU, there’s not much talk about him and he may be a sleeper that sifts through. Long comes from a good pedigree, has the attitude you like in a offensive linemen and is a great athlete. He’s pretty raw at the Offensive Line, he’s played less than 20 games on Offense, but he’s more than sufficient.

  • JofreyRice

    I’ve been saying this for months. I’m not totally sure that Fisher AND Joeckel will be there, but I’d say one of the two definitely will be, unless someone trades up to grab them.

    If Andy takes a tackle, who is he going to take? The taller, athletic guy, or the extremely consistent technician? His LT’s in Philly were Tra Thomas and Jason Peters. Tra was a technician by his last couple seasons here, but he was pretty athletic in his day. Of course we’ve all seen Peters’ unbelievable athletic ability. I think that trend leads you to believe he’ll take Fisher. Had they just cut Tyson Jackson, instead of negotiating him down from 14 mil to 4 mil, I’d say they had to go 5 Tech DE, but along with that move, they signed Mike Devito. They could still go DT/DE, but it’s less likely. Weird move for Reid to essentially take the the #1 pick in the draft and play him out of position.

    I’m convinced Geno goes to the Jags. Blaine Gabbert is garbage. They could have gotten Matt Flynn for a 5th rounder, and decided not to. They’re taking Geno.

    The Raiders have a very good LT in Jared Veldheer, and not much of anything on the interior DL. They let Desmond Bryant go, along with Tommy Kelly. Richard Seymour is about to retire. I’m betting they take Floyd or Star.

    The Eagles should be in the catbird seat to take either the best tackle right this second, or one of the two extremely athletic guys that might be the best tackle in the league 3 years from now.

    • Richard Colton

      All things being equal, I prefer the guy with the nasty streak and freakish athletic talent. I hate to keep beating the same drum – but you have to go back to Orlando Pace to find a LT rated higher than either one of these guys pre-draft. To land one at pick four is A) great value B) Best player C) fills a need

      • I like the nasty attitude in an Offensive Linemen. There’s some debate at Texas A&M as to whether Joeckle is the best Tackle on that offensive line. The diamond is Matthews, Bruce Matthews’ kid and cousin to Casey. Surprisingly, there are a number of talented tackles in this draft beyond the obvious three. Some of the small school Tackles are bound to show up at camp this year with chips on their shoulders. The kid from Arkansas Pine Bluff I suspect will be among those looking to prove themselves in that group.

    • GGeagle21

      I think there is very little doubt that KC takes a tackle, my guess Joekel. I really hope you are right that Jaxonville takes Geno because:
      1)If they dont take Dion Jordan, he will be on the board when we pick at #4
      2)Regardless what the Jags do, they will be bad next year, and have a higher draft pick than us in the 2014 draft. With Geno and Gabbert, there is no way they can take another QB in round 1 in thats 1 less team, that drafts before we do, to compete with over a QB if Nick Foles cant prove to be a franchise guy in year two..
      If Im being honest with myself I do think Dion and Geno are both a possibility for the Jags, but I wouldnt be surprised to see them go with Ziggy or an OT to pair with Eugene. If they dont want to draft a QB because they arent ready to give up on Gabbert yet, they might want to give Gabbert the best chance possible to succeed in hopes that he isnt a complete waste..If thats the case, then he is running out of time so I would think that Joekel and Fisher being the first two players taken in the draft is a very real possibility…Of course, you could be right. They hav a new GM, who might say screw Gabbert, I want to draft my own guy…As long as they dont take Dion, I wish Gus Bradley the best! lol

  • knighn

    The Geno Smith selection makes for some of the great NFL drama. There are a lot of people who think that the Jacksonville Jaguars make their move for Geno Smith at #2. Then again, there are other GMs and Draft Gurus who say that there may not be a QB worth a 1st round pick. If enough teams buy into this thinking, Geno Smith may sllliiiiidddeee all of the way out of the top ten, maybe into the bottom half of the first round?!

    It’s still amazing, in retrospect, that in the 2005 draft the 49es drafted Alex Smith #1 over Aaron Rodgers, and soooo many other teams that still don’t have a great QB situation let Rodgers fall all of the way to #24 overall. Does anyone think, even without knowledge of Rodgers’ eventual career, that Geno Smith had better NFL potential than Aaron Rodgers?!

    • To many teams with new coaches are in desperate need of a franchise Quarterback, even with some of the recent trades, especially the Kansas City trade I suspect are smoke screen deals. Geno Smith had one of the best seasons of any Quarterback in a stellar conference ever……. Alex Smith is essentially on a one year try out at $8 Million in Kansas City, Andy isn’t tied long term to Smith, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith ends up in Kansas City with pick No.1, and Andy comes back in the Second for a serviceable Tackle.

  • Mac

    My pick at #4 is Lane Johnson. We’re in no position to win it all next season; therefore, I’m taking the player with the greatest long term upside.