Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel were the first two picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, marking the first time offensive tackles have been taken with the first two picks in draft history. Both will be opening day starters at right tackle, Fisher for the Chiefs and Joeckel for the Jaguars. These two were among the best available players in the draft and provide major upgrades for their respective teams. The right tackle position is becoming increasingly important, and tackles have made quick transitions to the pros in recent years. It's fair to expect both Fisher and Joeckel to excel from day one.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan was the commencement speaker at the University of Illinois on Sunday. Khan earned his degree from the school in 1971, he lives in the Champaign-Urbana area and his company, Flex-N-Gate, is headquartered there. Some highlights from his speech: "Forty-some years ago, some people were concerned that as a foreign student/potential immigrant, I was taking a U.S. citizen’s job at a blacksmith shop. Yes, I did take that job, but in the process, created thousands of jobs right here in America. Imagine if we fixed immigration and how many more millions of jobs will be created?"
Monday was more than just the first day of Jaguars’ organized team activities for veteran players. It was also the Justin Blackmon version of Groundhog Day. Another beautiful spring afternoon, another round of denials from Blackmon about vices and temptations threatening to undermine his NFL career. Last June, Blackmon told us he didn’t have an alcohol problem despite an aggravated DUI conviction revealing blood-alcohol levels of .24 and .26, triple the legal limit. Now in his first comments since the NFL officially suspended him four games on April 30 for violating its substance abuse policy, he rejected the notion of any non-alcohol addiction issues.
The support system is in place, and the steps are clear. Justin Blackmon, the Jaguars’ wide receiver who for a second time in two offseasons on Monday spent time explaining and apologizing for off-field issues, said what’s next for him is clear: Lean on the support system, and take the right steps.
From his view, Maurice Jones-Drew said a couple of things at Jaguars organized team activities are clear: 1. Denard Robinson is fast. 2. The Jaguars are, too. "There’s so much speed out there, it’s amazing," Jones-Drew said Monday after the first of 10 organized team activities scheduled at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields in May and June. Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back, said that makes this an exciting time to be around the Jaguars, and he also said he’ll be heavily involved come training camp.