Eric Fisher's Athleticism Makes Him the Best Fit for Chiefs at No. 1

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Eric Fisher's Athleticism Makes Him the Best Fit for Chiefs at No. 1
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The only thing we know is that we know very little. The Kansas City Chiefs have made no official indication of their plans for the No. 1 pick, and Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel will likely still be in play when the Chiefs go on the clock at 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

While both offensive tackles are excellent choices for Kansas City, it can’t be easy for Andy Reid and John Dorsey to choose between the two. Both are tremendously talented players with Pro Bowl potential at the left tackle position.

Flipping a coin is probably starting to seem like a pretty good option at this point.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There are, however, a couple important factors that could sway the Chiefs toward Fisher, including his exceptional athleticism for the position. At 6’7” and 306 pounds, there aren’t a lot of big bodies who can move like the Central Michigan product.

Offensive tackles’ athleticism can’t be measured by stats and numbers. While 40-yard dash and three-cone drill times can be helpful, it’s often necessary to turn to the tape to accurately assess how well an offensive lineman can move in a game setting—even if that tape is of practice footage.

The above video is an excellent representation of Fisher’s skill set. Quick feet are the mark of elite left tackles, and Fisher shows tremendous footwork in the opening frame of the video:

Paired with a solid base and powerful punch (and prototypical size for the position), Fisher has all the tools to develop into one of the best pass-protectors in the NFL.

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Like Fisher, Joeckel excels in pass protection, but the Central Michigan product has an edge in the run-blocking game. And it’s really not that close.

There aren’t a lot of tackles with the chops to be elite blockers in both the running and passing game. Matt Kalil of the Minnesota Vikings comes to mind as a recent prospect who fits the mold, but the examples are few and far between.

If Fisher comes close to matching Kalil’s rookie success, Kansas City will be very happy with its choice. And as it stands, it looks more and more likely that particular scenario will play out Thursday evening.

According to ESPN’s Tony Softli and Forth Worth Star-Telegram’s Charean Williams, all signs point to Fisher being the first name announced:

Fisher will be a tremendous left tackle in the NFL, but his athleticism and run-blocking ability also open the door for another interesting possibility.

According to Steve Wych of NFL Network, a deal sending Branden Albert to the Miami Dolphins is still entirely possible:

However, the absence of such a deal this close to the draft could signal a change of heart for the Chiefs. If Albert remains in Kansas City for the 2013 season, Fisher becomes an even more appealing pick than Joeckel.

Because of his athleticism and run-blocking ability, Fisher is an intriguing option to play on the right side this season in an attempt to keep Albert happy and at the left tackle position. It wouldn’t be the ideal fit for the Central Michigan tackle, but Albert is serving the only year of his one-year franchise tender and the Chiefs probably wouldn’t choose to re-sign him should he stick around.

Again, it wouldn’t be the ideal use of Fisher’s talents, but there’s something to be said for his ability to play both positions. He’s at least better suited for the move than Joeckel (who shows flashes of strong run-blocking ability, but doesn’t quite reach Fisher’s ability).

Eric Fisher Luke Joeckel
6'7" 6'6"
306 pounds 306 pounds
34 1/2" arms 34 1/4" arms

 

Teams don’t draft offensive tackles at No. 1 overall to play on the right side, but it’s certainly an intriguing possibility for Fisher, at least for the first year of his career.

Regardless of Kansas City’s plans for its first pick, the Chiefs can’t go wrong with either tackle. But they have to pick one, and Fisher is the better fit.

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