Luke Joeckel: Alex Smith Trade to Chiefs Makes OT Logical No. 1 Pick of Draft

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23: Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M participates during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 23, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Luke Joeckel should pack his bags and get ready to move to Kansas City after the Chiefs reportedly completed a trade for quarterback Alex Smith.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer first broke the news:

The deal has been confirmed by numerous news sources, including San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami:

Joeckel didn't wow anyone at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, posting one of the poorest marks in the 40-yard dash, while posting average marks in every measurable drill but the three-cone drill. 

As a result, some of the post-combine mock drafts floating around the web have Central Michgan's Eric Fisher as the No. 1 pick to the Chiefs. 

But that doesn't make any sense.

Joeckel isn't a phenomenal athlete, but he's the best left tackle to enter the draft since perhaps Joe Thomas back in 2007. He is one of the most technically sound tackles I've ever seen coming out of college, and when he does make mistakes, he is physically gifted enough to recover.

His excellent time of 7.40 seconds (No. 4 for offensive linemen at the combine) in the three-cone drill clearly illustrates this. It's a test of short-burst acceleration and change-of-direction skills, and Joeckel is really light on his feet.

During the combine, reports surfaced that the Chiefs were angling for Smith and that Joeckel would be their target at No. 1 (h/t NFL Network's Ian Rapoport). 

Now that Smith is reportedly heading to Kansas City, it seems the dominoes are falling just as general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid had in mind all along.

The threat of adding Joeckel to the team's roster gives Dorsey a bargaining chip to use when attempting to negotiate with tackle Branden Albert, who is a free agent this year. The Chiefs could either sign him to a deal that works for them and move Albert to the right side or let him walk.

No matter what happens, Kansas City's decision at the top of the draft is now an easy one. Franchise quarterbacks are tough to find, and though Smith has many detractors who point to his early years as the norm, he's proven to be one of the league's top signal-callers the past couple of years.

You can go ahead and book it: Joeckel is going to be selected by the Chiefs with the No. 1 pick of the draft, and he'll become one of the best NFL players at his position in short order.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78