Being the number two overall pick in the NFL Draft carries a lot of weight. Some can thrive under the pressure, while some crumble and never have the careers many expect them to. Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman, Luke Joeckel, isn’t trying to be the latter, but it’s sure starting to look that way.
Jacksonville has done just about everything with their 2013 1st round pick. Unfortunately, the team isn’t seeing the results that they expected from the big Texas A&M lineman. Joeckel has been relatively underwhelming during his NFL tenure thus far, making this upcoming season integral to his future.
The positive is that Joeckel has looked excellent in the preseason. Playing as the team’s left tackle, there has been some positive growth. However, with Kelvin Beachum on the roster, it appears that Joeckel will be moved to the left guard position. And while that might seem like an easy adjustment, it might not be that cut and dry.
We’ve seen some of Joeckel’s best work over the course of the preseason, as he’s been battling for that left tackle position. But why haven’t we seen this type of production from him throughout his career? It’s unclear whether the preseason performance was a breakthrough or just a phase, but he did look impressive.
Perhaps the move to left guard is something Joeckel needs to revitalize his career. The addition of Beachum was thought by many to be the end of the Joeckel era in Jacksonville. His play during the preseason got him a roster spot. And while not at his primary position, Joeckel might be able to salvage a disappointing start to his career at LG.
Joeckel is the subject of many fans disappointment in Jacksonville, and rightfully so. Maybe the addition of Beachum inspired him. Before training camp began, it was assumed that Joeckel might back be the backup at LT. He’s been able to force himself a roster spot, and a starting one at that.
It’s going to take some getting used to for Joeckel. There are going to be plenty of mistakes, but fans shouldn’t count him out so quickly. If the preseason has taught us anything, it’s that Luke Joeckel has something left to offer, and that’s a positive sign for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @dgentleman9288