2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars begin rebuilding project with OT Joeckel

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-25 20:55

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - When Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan interviewed general manager Dave Caldwell in January, one of the first questions he asked was who Caldwell thought was the best player in the NFL draft.

Caldwell's answer: Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.

Khan and Caldwell spent the next four months believing Joeckel would end up in Kansas City. To their surprise, Joeckel was still around when the Jaguars made their selection Thursday night. After being widely considered the top pick for weeks, Joeckel fell to Jacksonville when Kansas City chose Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher with the top pick.

Now, he'll be a cornerstone of Jacksonville's rebuilding project.

``We gave up the third-most sacks last year, not only from the left side but from the right side of the line,'' Caldwell said. ``We needed to correct that. ... We needed somebody that could pass protect for us.''

The Jaguars allowed 50 sacks in 2012, many of them coming against right tackles Guy Whimper and Cam Bradfield.

So the Jaguars wasted no time penciling Joeckel in as the starter opposite left tackle Eugene Monroe. Caldwell hopes the bookend linemen can provide the kind of protection Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy did in the late 1990s.

``Teams can rush the passer from either the left or right side,'' Caldwell said. ``We feel they're both close to being equally important.''

With holes on both sides of the ball, the Jaguars could have gone in any direction with its first-rounder. And with new coach Gus Bradley being a former defensive coordinator, many believed Jacksonville would draft a defensive player. But pass-rushers Dion Jordan and Ziggy Ansah, as well as cornerback Dee Milliner, were considered risky picks because of injuries and/or experience.

So the Jaguars kept it safe and went with Joeckel, even though he won't start his NFL career at a premier position.

``I understand playing right tackle,'' said Joeckel, who hasn't played on the right side since his junior year in high school. ``Eugene Monroe is a great player. I'm just trying to get on the field and help my team.''

Joeckel took repetitions at right tackle before the draft, knowing he could end up playing there.

``It's another tool in the tool belt,'' he said. ``It makes you more attractive to teams.''

Joeckel said he was ``in the dark'' about Kansas City's plans for the top pick, adding that he didn't know until Fisher got the call.

``I'm a competitive guy,'' he said. ``I think every guy here in New York was fighting to be the No. 1 pick. Going No. 2 is going to drive me even more.''

The Jaguars hope that's the case.

Bradley raved about his first pick as a head coach.

``You've got to be fired up about Luke Joeckel,'' Bradley said. ``He's tough, competitive, reliable, smart. He's exactly what we hoped would be there for us.''

Trading down wasn't an option, either.

``We got very little play,'' Caldwell said. ``There were some casual inquiries, but nothing substantial. There was very little interest in teams coming up to 1 or 2.''

Joeckel started 39 games in his three-year career at Texas A&M. As a junior last season, he helped pave the way for an offense that averaged nearly 242 yards rushing behind Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

Joeckel was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the Southeastern Conference's best lineman.

Scouts rave about Joeckel's quick feet and balance in pass protection.

``It was an easy selection for us,'' Caldwell said. ``We dug and we dug and we dug. ... I don't want to say it's a safe pick. It's a good pick.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group