Our 2013 Community Mock Draft is underway! In this annual exercise we put the fates of all 32 teams in the hands of our community. This exercise accomplishes several things. For one, we often have a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to the NFL. We will get a glimpse into the needs of each of the franchises. It also helps us get familiar with each of the first-round prospects because like last year in a trade up for Morris Claiborne, you never quite know what the future holds for Dallas.
Every GM has been informed of their team's needs and is ready to roll. Let's see who will be selected with the [first] pick in the draft!
Selection: (OT) Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Why the pick: The Chiefs just can't catch a break, a year too late to have the number 1 overall pick. But the Chiefs have to make the best of a bad situation. All signs point to the Chiefs taking Joeckel #1 overall, with moves such as trading for Alex Smith from the 49ers, and the release of RT Eric Winston.
Joeckel, a three year starter for Texas A&M, has looked great at LT every single year he has played. In 2012, with the move to the SEC, people really took notice of Joeckel. Tasked with protecting the blindside of Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, he allowed only one sack all year, coming against Lerentee McCray of Florida. As the season progressed he shut down elite players from teams such as LSU and Alabama. Joeckel is also pretty darn good at run blocking, but hitting the weight room couldn't hurt.
The Chiefs franchised Brandon Albert, this gives the Chiefs the ability to either play Joeckel at RT and let him get accustomed to the NFL or start him at LT right away and put Albert at RT. Either way, they will have very good bookend tackles for this year. Moral of the story, Joeckel is expected to start at LT for the next 10 years and a be regular at the Pro-Bowl. That is how you make the best of a bad situation.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): None
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Right Tackle, Sam Inside Backer, Free Safety, Guard, Center
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): 34DT, 34DE, 34OLB, Corner, Quarterback, Feature Running Back, Feature Receiver, Slot Receiver, Possession Receiver, Tight End, Left Tackle
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Strong Safety
-- Drafttek.com ranked #1 Overall, #1 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #3 Overall, #1 at the position
STRENGTHS - Joeckel is an elite athlete that plays with outstanding quickness, agility and balance. His wide base and leverage allows him to shuffle side to side with ease to adjust to counter moves. He is quick off the LOS and does an excellent job of staying under control when out in space. He consistently diagnoses games and blitzes correctly and works well with his fellow linemen to make pre and post-snap adjustments.
WEAKNESSES - Joeckel lacks elite natural strength and can be driven backward by aggressive bull rushers despite excellent leverage. He lacks a consistent punch and tends to attack his man outside his frame, allowing the defender to establish positioning inside. On run blocks he struggles to get consistent movement off the LOS and has to rely on technique and athleticism to tie his man up and sustain blocks.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
STRENGTHS: Possesses the prototypical build for today's left tackles with a relatively lean, tapered build, long arms and a thick lower half.
Smooth out of his stance in pass protection. Eases back and catches the defender easily, showing excellent lateral agility and balance to handle speed and counter-moves, as well as the core strength to absorb the bull rush.
Plays with excellent fundamentals. Keeps his knees bent, butt down and both his head and hands up. Alert. Recognizes stunts and zone-blitzes efficiently and without panic.
Demonstrates rare poise when initially beaten, showing a late burst and quick, strong hands to recover rather than simply become a turn-stile. Quick off the snap when run-blocking, demonstrating not only the burst to gain the advantage over defensive linemen in short-yardage situations but the mobility to get to and block effectively at the second level.
Keeps his hands inside the defenders' chest plate and keeps his feet moving on contact, generating legal blocks with great effectiveness. Quick, effective cut-blocker.
Durable. Started all 37 games of his collegiate career, each at left tackle.
WEAKNESSES: Played with greater physicality in 2012, though he could still show a little more nastiness, allowing defenders to ease from his grasp after he has made the initial block rather than finishing the block to completely eliminate his opponent.
Will occasionally allow his hands to slip to the side or lower back of the defender when blocking on the move, though he shows good recognition to ease up when doing so to not draw the flag.
Nitpicking, but it deserves mention that Joeckel was protected a bit by blocking for two mobile quarterbacks (Ryan Tannehill, Johnny Manziel) over the past two years and therefore pass rushers may have had some containment responsibilities and not rushed upfield quite as feverishly as they would against a more stationary target.
Now On The Clock: Jacksonville Jaguars