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March 08, 2013

Texas A&M OT Joeckel sets March 22 workout with KC, hopes it leads to being first pick in NFL Draft

Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel, an Arlington High School graduate projected as the possible first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has arranged a private workout with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 22 in College Station. Joeckel said during today’s Pro Day in College Station that he also has met with the Oakland Raiders but the Chiefs are the only team that has scheduled a private workout “as of now.”

The Chiefs own the first pick in the draft and recently released Eric Winston, last year’s starting right tackle, in a move that suggests Kansas City may be preparing to take a tackle with the top pick. Joeckel, the 2012 Outland Trophy winner, said he interviewed with the Chiefs at last month’s NFL Combine and welcomes the chance to try and build on his initial impression with the club during the private workout.

“I think it went well, but who knows?,” Joeckel said of his initial talks with Kansas City officials. “It’s them evaluating me, not me evaluating them. I think I did well. I think my tape shows I’m a good player. But it’s them making all the decisions.”

Mike Mayock, draft analyst for NFL Network, projects three tackles to be taken among the top 10 picks _ Joeckel, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson _ and indicated that he expected Kansas City to thoroughly sound out all three players before making a final decision.

“In a draft like this, where there’s no clear-cut No. 1, what happens is teams with the top four or five picks are going to spend a lot of time grinding the top potential picks in this draft … and get a feel for the kid as much as the player,” Mayock said. “If I’m Kansas City and I’m looking at tackles, I’m going to spend an awful lot of time with those three tackles. Not just on the field. But finding out what kind of kids they are. If I’m going to invest a No. 1 pick in a tackle, I want to make sure that I’m putting all those millions of dollars into someone that’s not only a talented kid, but he’s a reliable kid.”

Kansas City sent area scout Willie Davis to watch Joeckel at today’s Pro Day. Oakland coach Dennis Allen, a former A&M and Hurst L.D. Bell player, also attended and spoke glowingly about Joeckel after watching his workout. Joeckel said he would relish the opportunity to become the first A&M player and first high school player from Arlington taken No. 1 overall in any NFL Draft. But he added that he does not consider the Chiefs’ release of Winston as a significant benefit in those efforts.

“Who knows?,” Joeckel said. “I don’t try to look into all of that different stuff. I’m just trying to work out and … do well at the pro day and not to try to worry about all the outside stuff.”

_ Jimmy Burch

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