TFDS is going through every position in preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft in April. Today, we are looking at the top prospects at offensive tackle. While the Raiders have an above average tackle in Veldheer, they lack any great option to pair with him and many think that the Raiders may be in the market for a tackle in the draft either to put at right tackle or, possibly, to draft a new left tackle and shift Veldheer to the right side.
Here are my top 5 picks, in order, for the 2013 Draft offensive tackles.
1. Luke Joeckel 6’6 310 lbs Texas A&M
Joeckel looks like he can enter the NFL as a Pro Bowl caliber tackle straight away; he shows great athleticism, range and technique much in the same vein as high first round picks Joe Thomas and Jake Long. Has great burst and vision in running game, generating great push at the LOS while not allowing penetration into the backfield.
Joeckel gets to 2nd level well, opening lanes for running backs. His slick footwork and vision will make ZBS teams love him. Joeckel has smooth sliding feet and a good hand punch out of his stance, then he anchors well against a power rush. He also has the strength and ability to extend his long arms against a speed rusher who is trying to get outside him and direct the defender off of the QB.
In the instances when he’s initially beaten at the snap, he shows the ability to recover well and lock back on to defender. He needs to add some nastiness to his game and some overall strength but he’ll be able to bulk up in an NFL weight room and I think he is a better prospect then 2012 top tackle Matt Kalil.
Pro Comparison: Tyron Smith