Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel has been one of the most popular picks for the Eagles in mock drafts over the past few weeks. Today, the 21 year old spoke at the combine and says he hopes to be the first tackle taken this April.
"Yeah, definitely coming into this thing I wanted to be the first tackle taken in the draft," said Joeckel. "Now I know it's a long process until then. I'm trying to do every single thing right to make sure that happens. I know it's a competition between him (Central Michigan's Eric Fisher) against the other guys, you know (Oklahoma's) Lane Johnson. It's good type of competition between all of us. That's one of the fun parts about the combine, the competition aspect of it, going against some of the best athletes at your position in the country."
He measured at 6-6, 306 which was a tad lighter than the 310 he was hoping for. However, many scouts noted that his frame still has room to hold more muscle, which is exciting for a guy who was already dominant against elite competition at his current weight.
That elite competition of course came playing in the SEC, where he and his Aggies went into Tuscaloosa and upset the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Joeckel especially stood out in that game and says that the level of competition he faced in college will help prepare him for the NFL.
"SEC defensive lines are stout," he said. "They are the best defensive lines in the country. Going from the Big 12 to the SEC, you can definitely see a difference, you can see it on film and you can definitely see it playing against it. I think it's a great stepping stone to go to the NFL after playing against the top guys I played against this year, and I'm excited about that next step."
Joeckel said that he actually started out at QB (his twin brother is Texas A&M's backup QB), but settled on the offensive line because of how big he was. In the end, he found that the position fit him well.
"I love offensive line. Growing up I always thought I was too athletic for the position. I was a quarterback in junior high. There are two (A) teams for junior high because 100 kids try out, and we were the quarterbacks for both teams. One at quarterback and one played tight end, and I always ended up on offensive line just because I was the biggest guy on the team."
"The offensive line is what I was born to play. I loved the physical aspect of it. You finish every play with a one-on-one block. There are not many other positions on the field like that. I love that part of it. I'm a background guy, and that's why belong on the offensive line."