Texas A&M Offensive Tackle Luke Joeckel Will Enter NFL Draft

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2013

Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M’s superstar tackle, has reportedly made the decision to enter the 2013 NFL draft, according to Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com:

I've been able to confirm from multiple sources that A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel has made the decision to enter the 2013 NFL Draft

— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) January 8, 2013

The Aggies official website has confirmed the news via press release, stating:

Luke Joeckel, a junior left offensive tackle for Texas A&M who won the 2012 Outland Trophy and was a consensus All-American, has decided to forego his senior season for the 2013 NFL draft

This is phenomenal news for a number of teams with an early pick in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Joeckel is widely regarded as the best available offensive tackle prospect, and those franchises that have him on their big boards are now assured that he will be draft eligible.

At 6’6” and 310 pounds, Joeckel has incredible size that he used to his advantage in three immensely productive seasons for the Aggies. For his efforts at left tackle, Joeckel was named to the Big 12’s All-Freshman Team in 2010, All First-Team in 2011 and also took home AP First-Team All-American honors in 2012.

Joeckel anchored a line that protected Heisman-winner Johnny Manziel during his epic freshman season, giving up only 22 sacks throughout the course of the season. 

As a team, the Aggies were able to gain 3,807 yards through the air and ran the ball 502 times for 2,821 yards on the ground, scoring 42 touchdowns. Perhaps most impressively, the school finished 10-2 in its first SEC season.

Joeckel deserves a ton of credit for the team's success. He quickly adapted to the speed of the new conference while showing great poise and a natural ability to halt opposing pass-rushers.

The junior was a lock to be selected in the first round before the season started, and after an amazing third-year campaign, many have him rated as the No. 1 overall prospect—with a real chance to be the first pick in the 2013 draft.