By: Rob Johnson (@RJ1452)
David Caldwell and Gus Bradley are building a new foundation in Jacksonville one block at a time. With the selection of the 6'6" 306 lbs Luke Joeckel, this is a figurative and literal block.
What I initially called a "safe" pick was called a "good" pick by Caldwell. While I think the pick was a wise choice, the new GM wanted to make sure everyone thought that way. In Caldwell's post-pick interviews, he stated that Joeckel's techniques, angle ability and overall athleticism make him the right choice for the Jaguars.
Will he play on the left? Will he play on the right? Those were the first thoughts of many people outside of the Jags' War Room.
Bradley answered those questions before the night was over. Joeckel will play right tackle.
Along with typical rookie struggles, the former Texas A&M Aggie has the additional task of learning how to play on the right side. Joeckel said he hasn't played that position since his junior year in high school. However, he also said that he has been working on the footwork and intricacies of playing right tackle.
Regardless of his learning curve, Joeckel makes the Jaguars' offensive line stronger than it was last year. That is one major step toward an improved team.
The Jags need to protect Blaine Gabbert (or whomever emerges as the starting quarterback) and open holes for Maurice Jones-Drew. Touchdowns must be much more prevalent than last season, and that starts with a solid offensive line.
Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts III and Marcedes Lewis also have the ability to make big plays, as long as the quarterback is given time to find them. Joeckel will help make this possible.
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