NFL

NFL Draft 2013: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson Make LT Colossal Factor in Round 1

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Most mock drafts have left tackles Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson all going in the top 11 picks in the 2013 NFL draft. Due to a combination of enamoring upside, severe personnel needs and relative lack of positive hype for this quarterback class, 2013 is a great year to come out as a top pass-protecting prospect.

If each end up being drafted in the top 11 to play left tackle this April, it would be the first time this has happened since Mike Williams, Bryant McKinnie and Levi Jones each went top 10 in 2002.

The general consensus — or as close as you can get — among draftniks seems to have Joeckel going to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1, there being absolutely no way Johnson falls past the San Diego Chargers at No. 11 and Fisher falling somewhere in between. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock, however, flips this order around as far as his perceived upside goes.

“This is no shot at Joeckel at all, but I think [Fisher] has got a little more upside. He’s a little longer and he’s a little more athletic,” Mayock told Lance Zierlein on The Sideline View’s podcast. Mayock would also rave about Johnson, believing he has the most upside out of the whole trio.

“You know, what’s interesting is that if you watched early tapes of [Lane Johnson] at Oklahoma it’s okay,” Mayock said. “The later tape is pretty darn good and the Senior Bowl was excellent. If you want to bet on the kid, it’s a pretty good bet because you can see progress.  And you know — four years ago the freaking kid was a quarterback!”

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google