Kansas City's 2013 Selection: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
When NFL.com's Mike Mayock released his 2013 big board, he ranked Fisher as his top prospect of the class, noting, "When I put my Top 100 out there, he was the first name on the list, which tells you how strongly I feel about him. He's a Pro Bowl left tackle."
Can Fisher still become a perennial Pro Bowler? Absolutely. Months leading up to the draft, his meteoric rise was attributed to dominant offseason showings, including the Senior Bowl. No small-school tackle will battle a batch of assorted injuries, switch sides and overcome the aforementioned talent leap as a rookie.
Given the above circumstances, writing him off would be incredibly premature.
But for the sake of change, let's look at the other options at left tackle—the position that Kansas City had its sights set on (and justifiably so).
Before succumbing to a season-ending high-ankle fracture in Week 5, Luke Joeckel underwhelmed in his initial NFL outings. On average, he allowed a quarterback hurry every 25.5 snaps, which was slightly better than Fisher's 23.2 (to reiterate: Fisher was nagged by a shoulder injury, though).
Justin Pugh may have been the most consistent of the 2013 class. However, moving forward, less-than-ideal arm length is somewhat of a concern, and he doesn't hold a candle to Fisher's athleticism (who is three inches taller).
D.J. Fluker, who played right guard and tackle at Alabama, looked like the creme de la creme of the group until he transitioned to the left side. During the previously mentioned four-game span, his pass protection U-turned and sped southward.
That leaves Lane Johnson, who has longer arms—despite being smaller in stature—than Fisher and is more athletically inclined.
A former quarterback, Johnson struggled to find his feet throughout the first half of the season; starting in Week 9, the opposite held true.
At this point in his career, he's not as fundamentally sound as a handful of his classmates, but he's closing the distance at a rapid pace.
Johnson, who acquired left tackle experience at Oklahoma, owns a skill set that's tailored for Andy Reid's offense.
Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Combine results provided by NFL.com.
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