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Luke Joeckel to Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 NFL Draft

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel's blindside protector is headed for a position switch. The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars have needs at quarterback and all over the defensive side of the ball, but new general manager David Caldwell stuck to a "best player available" philosophy.

Although left tackle Eugene Monroe arguably is the team's most valuable player, he's set to become a free agent in 2014. Caldwell has no intention of extending Monroe's contract until after head coach Gus Bradley and his staff sees him in action this season.

Joeckel will begin his career at right tackle with the potential to move to the left side if the front office decides to let Monroe walk next offseason. It's highly unusual for an NFL team to invest so heavily in a right tackle. On the other hand, the Joeckel-Monroe duo has the potential to transform an abysmal offensive line into one of the Jaguars' rare strong points on the roster.


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While Joeckel's rock-solid performance against stiff SEC competition suggests he would more than hold his own at left tackle in the pros, it's quite possible that his game is better suited to the right side.

As opposed to Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who went No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs, Joeckel is more of a technician with average athleticism. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had expressed slight concern with Joeckel's handling of speedy defensive ends and linebackers in college.

Now that Caldwell has bookend offensive tackles upon which to build, the next question is whether the Jaguars' second-round pick will produce a quarterback worth protecting in an improved offense.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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