Texas A&M Aggies: Nate Gutekunst

Texas A&M junior left tackle Luke Joeckel was presented with an opportunity he couldn't pass up. He didn't.

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Brett Davis/US PresswireTexas A&M's Luke Joeckel has been projected to be a top-five pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound winner of the Outland Trophy officially announced on Tuesday that he is bypassing his senior season and declaring for early entry into the 2013 NFL draft. Many projections have Joeckel going in the top five selections, and some even have him going first overall. He's the consensus top tackle on the draft board.

With the Jan. 15 deadline to declare approaching, only right tackle Jake Matthews remains among those highly-regarded draft-eligible A&M juniors who haven't officially announced a decision. Defensive end Damontre Moore declared before the AT&T Cotton Bowl that he's entering the draft.

Joeckel's loss is significant because he was a stalwart at left tackle. He was stellar in pass protection and solid in run blocking as well. All the reasons scouts like him as a potential NFL player are why he was an asset to the Aggies this season. He was durable and reliable. Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl described Joeckel as having excellent footwork and awareness and called him a "smooth mover" who "adjusts well in space."

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