When Roger Goodell walks to the podium to announce the first pick of the 2013 NFL draft, it is widely expected that he will call Luke Joeckel's name for the Kansas City Chiefs. That's a good thing for Chiefs fans, because the Texas A&M offensive tackle is the safest possible move the franchise could make.
New head coach Andy Reid and the entire Kansas City organization are looking to start a new chapter with the franchise, and taking a player at a fundamental position of need like offensive tackle should be a no-brainer when rebuilding a franchise.
The Chiefs would draft Joeckel with the intention of having him start at left tackle for 10 years or more.
There is no doubt that Kansas City will also consider the other top tackles in the 2013 class as well—Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson—but Joeckel's raw skill and the room he has to grow as an athlete makes this a simple pick for the Chiefs.
As if the physical skills Joeckel possesses weren't enough to wow Kansas City, his team-first mentality and beyond-his-years maturity should give the Chiefs the reassurance that he will be able to handle the pressure associated with going No. 1 overall.
Joeckel told Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com about how much he loves playing offensive line and how he feels he was born to play the position:
I love offensive line…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 I belong on the offensive line.
The hardest part about finding a No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft is selecting a player who is not only able to deal with the pressure of carrying a struggling franchise but is also enthusiastic about the challenge.
While that weight can be too much for certain players to handle, all signs point to Joeckel having the mental strength and maturity to deal with the rigors of becoming the face of the Chiefs' franchise and Andy Reid’s tenure with Kansas City.
Not only will Joeckel handle the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick, but he will also thrive and use those emotions with his serious physical gifts to dominate at the next level.
The Chiefs would get a bona fide physical freak if they drafted Joeckel—6’6” and 306 pounds—and his unique mixture of length, strength and speed make him the total package at offensive tackle, especially on the left side.
There will undoubtedly be a transition period as Joeckel makes the jump to the big leagues, but with the raw skill and mental aptitude to be a franchise left tackle for the better part of a decade, it won’t be long before he is dominating the NFL.
Kansas City must take Joeckel No. 1.