Friday, March 8, 2013
Joeckel performs well at Aggies' pro day
By Sam Khan Jr.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The first day offensive tackle Luke Joeckel walked through the gate for practice as a true freshman at Texas A&M, then-quarterback Jerrod Johnson remembers the prophetic words of then-offensive line coach Jim Turner.
Luke Joeckel was 'impressive' during his pro day.
"Coach Turner, our offensive line coach at the time, said, 'That kid right there ... He's going to be an NFL tackle,' " Johnson recalled. "And here he is, about to be the No. 1 overall pick."
The part about being the No. 1 overall pick isn't quite a certainty, but it appears Turner was spot on. The 6-foot-6, 306-pound tackle, who likely will be a top-five selection in April's NFL draft, is on the verge of completing a childhood dream after working out for all 32 NFL teams during Texas A&M's pro day Friday at McFerrin Athletic Center.
"I was the corny kid in elementary school that [when they asked], 'What do you want to do when you grow up?' I'd put 'NFL football player' and stuff like that," Joeckel said. "But I really didn't think it was a possibility. I just tried to be the best player I can be and I was lucky enough to get the size, the strength and the athleticism. I've just always been a hard worker and tried to master my technique and it kind of came [together] this year."
Joeckel did not test on Friday and stuck to positional drills. He stood pat with his NFL scouting combine results, which included 27 repetitions on the bench press at 225 pounds; a 7.4-second mark in the three-cone drill; and a time of 5.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
"As an offensive lineman, the testing, it's a big deal and all that, but that's not the biggest thing. Tape is always the biggest thing," Joeckel said. "I didn't do as well as I wanted to at the combine with my testing, but I did what I needed to do. I was able to come out here and just do position stuff, do what I do and I figure that's all I need to do today."
According to those on hand, Joeckel did just fine during his positional drills.
"Luke's workout was a good workout," said Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who is also a Texas A&M product. "He was impressive on the tape. And just watching him out here and getting a chance to visit with him, not only is he a good football player, but he's an impressive young man. I think that's the thing when you look at him, that's the thing you look at and you say, 'That guy's going to make it in the National Football League.' "
Joeckel met with Oakland personnel Friday and has a private workout scheduled for March 22 with the Kansas City Chiefs, who have the first overall selection in the draft.
"I had an interview with them at the combine, and I think it went well, but who knows?" said Joeckel, who interviewed with eight other teams at the combine. "It's them evaluating me, not me evaluating them. I think I did well and I think my tape shows that I'm a good player. But it's them making all the decisions."
And just the possibility of commissioner Roger Goodell calling his name first on April 25 is flattering for the Arlington, Texas, native and 2012 Outland Trophy winner.
"Man, it's just hard to swallow," Joeckel said. "What an opportunity. (I'm) just trying to work every single day to earn that. I've got a long process until that. I've knocked out two things with the combine and now my pro day. Now I have a much longer process with team meetings and stuff like that. April 25 draft day is going to be a big day. It's going to be a lot of fun."