Will the San Diego Chargers Trade Up in 2013 NFL Draft to get Luke Joeckel?

By Kenny Gardner
Luke Joeckel San Diego Chargers
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers have the 11th pick in round one of tonight’s NFL Draft and are expected to choose an offensive lineman to help improve a line that ranked fourth in sacks allowed last season.

ESPN’s Todd McShay said he thinks San Diego will make a trade with the Oakland Raiders, and use the third pick in round one to get former Texas A&M Aggies left tackle Luke Joeckel.

According to CBS Sports, Joeckel ranks first among prospects, but McShay predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would select LT Eric Fisher with the number one pick.

Joeckel was a Consensus Freshman All-American in 2010, a Consensus All-American in 2012 and won the Outland Trophy in 2012 which is awarded to the nation’s best interior lineman.

If San Diego moves up from the 11th pick into the top five, they will get a potentially great tackle to protect Philip Rivers‘ blindside because Lane Johnson would also be available.

San Diego’s front office tried to solidify the LT position by signing Marcus McNeill to a six-year deal worth $48.9 million in 2010, but an injury in 2011 eventually led to his release and he retired last year.

Jared Gaither was McNeill’s successor, and he was signed to a four-year deal worth $24.6 million last year. Gaither missed 12 games last season with injuries and was released last month.  These signings were made by A.J. Smith who is no longer San Diego’s general manager.

Tom Telesco will more than likely to go after an LT tonight, and making a trade to get into the top five would guarantee that he would choose Joeckel, Fisher or Johnson who rank first, second and fourth among prospects.

It is time for San Diego to solidify the LT position so improvements will be made on the field to one of their biggest weaknesses last season.

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