Luke Joeckel wouldn't have had a shot in Hades of being the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in 2012. Or 2011. Or 2010. Or 2009.
That's not a knock on the Texas A&M offensive tackle. The NFL simply covets high-end quarterbacks, and there's been that consensus guy for each of the last four seasons. There were two last year -- Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Before that, there was Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford. The last offensive tackle to go No. 1 was Jake Long in 2008 to the Miami Dolphins.
There is no consensus No. 1 quarterback in the draft, though West Virginia's Geno Smith is considered by most to be the best of a so-so class. There is no can't-miss pass-rusher. So Joeckel seems to be the safest bet of the bunch -- even though a quarterback-thirsty club might trade with the Kansas City Chiefs and take a risk on Smith.
"It's just crazy to think about," Joeckel told Kansas City Star reporter John McMullen on Friday. "Starting football in the second grade, you don't really think about that kind of stuff.
"It would be really cool (being selected No. 1). A dream come true. But the way I'm just looking at it, I want to get there. I am definitely striving to be the No. 1 pick, going through this entire process. But my dream is to just play in the NFL."
Joeckel is the leader for that honor with less than three weeks to go. A trade, really, is his only enemy.