Rookies in Focus: Luke Joeckel

Steve Palazzolo breaks down the rookie-season performances of offensive tackles selected in the 2013 NFL draft.

| 3 years ago

Rookies in Focus: Luke Joeckel

Our offseason rookie breakdown started with the first round edge rushers and now it’s time to take a look at the other side of the line. Offensive tackles came off the board at a furious rate, with the 2013 draft perhaps as unique as any in recent history.

Here’s a look at the first round offensive tackles, with a couple other mid-round starters and even an undrafted free agent mixed in. This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.

[click to: comparison graphics | Eric Fisher | Luke Joeckel | Lane Johnson |
D.J. Fluker | Justin Pugh | David Bakhtiari | Jordan Mills | LaAdrian Waddle]


Round 1, No. 2: Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville Jaguars

rookie-OT-inset-joeckelRole: Four starts at RT, one start at LT

It was a disappointing rookie campaign for Joeckel when combining some early struggles with a season-ending injury. He started the season as the starting right tackle, but an early-season trade of left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens made room for Joeckel’s switch to his more familiar left side. Unfortunately, he went down to injury only 12 snaps into his first start at left tackle, so we’ll have to wait until next year to see if he’s fares better on the left side where he’s slated to start in 2014.

Pass Blocking

Grade: -1.0
Pass Block Snaps: 188
Total Pressures: 11
Sacks: 3
Hits:  1
Hurries: 11
Pass Blocking Efficiency: 93.3

In his limited time, Joeckel was average in pass protection, grading negatively in two starts, positively in his other two, and negative during his brief 12-snap outing. He gave up 10 of his 15 pressures to his outside shoulder, with only three coming to the inside and one coming via bull rush and mental error, respectively.

Joeckel beaten in pass protection:

Joeckel Beat Inside


Run Blocking

Grade: -5.6
Run Block Snaps: 92

While the sample size was small, there were some trends with regard to Joeckel’s strengths and weaknesses in the running game. He was at his best when the Jaguars ran “power” behind him, often collapsing the front side, allowing for big holes for Jacksonville running backs. He was less adept on reach blocks in the zone game and he struggled locking onto defenders at the second level.

Joeckel winning at the line of scrimmage in power game:

Joeckel clears out Avril

Joeckel Collapses McDonald


Joeckel whiffing at the second level:

Joeckel Whiffs at Second Level


Final Word

There’s not much to conclude after only 188 snaps, particularly in the passing game, but there are some distinct differences in Joeckel’s skill set in the running game. He must him prove his ability at the second level and in space in order to take the next step as a run blocker.


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| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

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