The Jacksonville Jaguars felt the offensive tackle was a position worth addressing when they drafted Luke Joeckel with the second-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The right tackle position for the Jaguars in 2012 was a big area of weakness, and so far through five days of training camp, Luke Joeckel has been as good as advertised at the right tackle position.
"Just really steady play, in one on one’s, nine on seven, team, he’s just really steady and that’s a good feeling to have a guy like that out there. He’s learning," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said after practice when asked about his impression of Joeckel so far. "He told me he’s still continuing to learn the speed of the game and the challenges that we face every day. I know George (Yarno) and myself when we watched him we just felt like his progress has been really, really good."
Joeckel is making the transition from left tackle in college at Texas A&M to the right side in the NFL, but watching him in drills you wouldn't know that he was making a switch to a new position. Joeckel looks smooth and natural on the right side, often shutting down whoever he's going up against in pass rushing drills and pushing guys back in run drills.
In pass rushing drills on Wednesday, Joeckel was up against Andre Branch, the Jaguars second-round pick from 2012, and completely shut him down. Branch tried the first time to inside with power on Joeckel, but Luke got his hands inside and anchored, stopping Branch in his tracks. On the next snap, Branch tried to go with speed to the outside and Joeckel shadowed him the whole way and ran him wide past where the quarterback would have been.
There will be more to look for once the preseason starts, but from the first five days of camp it looks like the team hit a homerun.