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Luke Joeckel to the Rams?

Luke Joeckel is not a lock as a Top 5 pick in this year’s draft. In fact, not only could he fall beyond fifth overall, but may slide all the way to the Rams at 16. Not because he lacks Top 5 talent, no sir. But upon closer examination of team needs for those that draft before the Rams , and the fact that six of those teams now have new head coaches, draft day is unlikely to resemble any of the mocks we’ll see over the next several months.

Luke_20joeckel_medium

via bloguin.com

But we'll use what we have. As of today, seven draft analysts with Walter Football, CBS, and the NFL have three teams slated to pick offensive tackles before the Rams 16th pick; Kansas City, Philadelphia, and San Diego.

Kansas City: Aside from the fact that the Chiefs have new head coach Andy Reid (who will likely want to draft his own QB) they are actually in dire need of a starting QB. It’s hard to imagine they select Luke Joeckel to protect Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn. It’s more likely they sign Geno Smith, who is arguably the best QB available in this year’s draft.

Philadelphia: If the Chiefs don’t take Joeckel, the next likely candidate is the Eagles. Selecting a left tackle makes no sense for the Eagles. While their offensive line struggled all season, they did so largely because their star LT Jason Peters was out the entire season with a torn achilles tendon. He should be back for the start of the 2013 season.

San Diego: If the Chiefs and Philadelphia pass on Joeckel the next most likely suitor, according to current draft analysis is the Chargers. However, similar to the Eagles, the Chargers have a very talented LT in Jared Gaither. He too was injured last year with back spasms and a groin injury. It is likely, given the seemingly mild nature of his injuries, he'll be back with the team to begin a new era with new head coach, Mike McCoy.

If none of the three teams above select Joeckel, one could argue that another team selecting in the top 15 will snatch him up. Not so fast. Just about every other team in the top 15 either has a solid starting left tackle, or drafted one last year. (Rankings are based on Pro Football Focus).

Draft Order

Team

Left Tackle

Left Tackle Status

1

KC

Brandon Albert

Ranks 17

2

JAX

Eugene Monroe

Ranks 8

3

OAK

Jared Valdheer

Ranks 11

4

PHI

Jason Peters

Injured in 2012

5

DET

Reilly Reiff

2012 1st Rd. Draft Pick

6

CLE

Joe Thomas

Ranks 5

7

ARZ

D’Anthony Batiste

Terrible

8

BUF

Cordy Glenn

2012 2nd Rd. Draft Pick

9

NYJ

D’Brickashaw Ferguson

Ranks 6

10

TEN

Michael Roos

Ranks 3

11

SD

Jared Gaither

Injured in 2012

12

MIA

Jake Long

May still re-sign

13

TB

Donald Penn

Ranks 16

14

CAR

Jordan Cross

Ranks 14

15

NO

Jermon Bushrod

Ranks 24

Based on the LT status of the other teams drafting in the top 15, only Arizona, Miami, and New Orleans look like potential homes for Joeckel. However, with a new head coach and an absolutely pathetic QB situation, Arizona is more likely to try and draft their franchise QB. Assuming Miami works out a deal with Long, that leaves only New Orleans as a likely suitor for Joeckel. If New Orleans takes Joeckel that ensures the Rams have the option to take Eric Fisher. Not a bad consolation prize eh?

As we all know, anything can happen on draft day. Not only will trades make predicting the results of draft day impossible, but so many teams have brought in new head coaches, make it even more so. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams are able to sit pretty and watch Joeckel or Fisher slide down to 16.

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