*Luke Joeckel   Texas A&M        A tough and competitive plug-and-play LT. Has excellent athletic movement with length, knee bend, body balance and control with hip flexibility. A three-year starter with outstanding performance as a pass blocker. Has very good initial quickness out of stance to set, chop and roll with finish and production. Has great feet to kick slide laterally and defeat edge player on up field shoulder, and can stick foot in ground with smooth adjustment and movement to cut off counter moves. Gets pulled and jerked off balance in films viewed, with inconsistent slide and finish to defeat inside movement; allows defender into breast plate. Has strong anchor vs. bull rush to drop center of gravity with bent knees and very solid wide base; strong UOH (use of hands) to punch with double arm bar and recoil to stone defender or grab and steer with finish. Joeckel has very good FBI (football instincts) and awareness to pick up blitzes, stunts and games. A run blocker with good movement to sift through traffic to the second level, he locates a defender and attacks target in space. An inline blocker with step, punch and collision production. Good job to pull and release on screens with production in space. Strength and explosion will increase through NFL off season workouts. Aligns at LT and RT in unbalanced formation. Softli – First-round talent/Top-3 pick.

 

LUKE JOECKEL

Offensive Tackle

Texas A&M University Aggies

#76

6:06.0-306

Arlington, Texas

Arlington High School

 

OVERVIEW

After a once promising 2011 season came to an end with the Aggies limping to a 7-6 record, the athletic department felt the football team was in need for a coaching change.

The quickly pounced on Kevin Sumlin, who came to College Station after a successful

stint as head coach at the University of Houston, where he led the Cougars to a school-record 12 victories and the program’s highest finish in the Bowl Championship Series standings in 2011.

 

Sumlin was named the Region V Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association in 2011 and was one of five finalists for the AFCA’s National Coach of the Year award. With that impressive resume, the Aggies had found a coach that would not only revive the program immediately, but go on to compile a 10-2 record, a victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and see two of their players cart home the Heisman Trophy and Outland Trophy.

 

When Sumlin first glanced at his 2012 roster upon his arrival, he saw a promising, yet untested quarterback in Johnny Manziel. He had a pretty cat-quick receiver to throw to in Ryan Swope and a talented, yet unmotivated running back in Christine Michael.

 

The coach then scanned the depth chart and found the main ingredient for the success the offense would have last season – bookend All-American caliber offensive tackles with Luke Joeckel at the demanding left side position and Jake Matthews, who has great football bloodlines on the right side.

 

It was Matthews that was the more nationally recognized of the two blockers, not only for his consistent performance on the field, but also due to his family links. Jake would see his brother, Mike, join the Texas A&M program as a freshman offensive lineman, but it was their father, Bruce, that was the more recognized in the Matthews clan.

 

Bruce was a perennial All-Pro offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. The elder Matthews currently coaches Jake and Mike’s older brother, Kevin, with the Tennessee Titans. Kevin Matthews was the Aggies’ starter at center in 2008 and 2009.

 

Joeckel? Well, he also had family ties, also, just not as well-known as Matthews. Luke’s twin brother, Matt, is a reserve sophomore quarterback at A&M. Their older brother, David, played on the offensive line at DePauw. Their father, David, now a trial lawyer in Fort Worth, was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as an offensive lineman at Texas Tech, under coaches Rex Dockery and Jerry Moore, from 1979–1982. And his grandfather, Reece Washington, played tight end for Texas Tech.

 

By the time the 2012 season would conclude, Joeckel would be rivaling his quarterback for space on the sports pages around the country. A three-year starter for the Aggies, Joeckel is considered to be one of the best prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft class, one that could possibly even be the first player selected in the draft. He solidified his ranking as the best offensive lineman in college football when he became the 67th recipient of the coveted Outland trophy.

 

The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the best college football interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America. Joeckel beat out Alabama center Barrett Jones, the 2011 Outland Trophy winner as an offensive tackle, and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, for the third-oldest award in major college football.

 

Despite its rich football history, Texas A&M has never had an Outland Trophy winner – or even a finalist – until Joeckel. Jones was seeking to become only the second player in the award’s history to win it twice after Nebraska center Dave Rimington won the award in both 1981 and ’82. “It’s crazy to think about it,” Joeckel said of being named the top interior lineman in college football. “It is a dream come true. I am honored by it. I don’t think I am one of the best players I see on film. I am one of my harshest critics, I guess.”

 

Joeckel was a mainstay of the powerful Texas A&M offensive line that made quite an impact in the school’s first season in the Southeastern Conference, including the Aggies’ upset of then top-ranked and unbeaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Nationally, the 11-2 and AT&T Cotton Bowl-winning Aggies used the stellar blocking by Joeckel and Matthews to finish third in the nation in total offense (558.54 ypc), fourth in scoring offense (44.46 ppg), eleventh in rushing offense (242.08 ypg) and 14th in passing offense (316.46 ypg).

 

What has elevated Joeckel to the group of elite prospects eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft is that he is one of the most technically sound blockers in the game today, at any level. Often compared to Miami’s Jake Long, Joeckel has nimble feet, along with excellent balance and body control, evident by the way he can retreat and mirror edge rushers, along with the burst he generates off the snap when asked to stalk second level defenders on outside running plays.

 

Even when a quicker pass rusher can manage to slip past him, Joeckel has the quick recovery agility to get back on his target and engulf his man with his big hands and large wing span. He is much more advanced with recognizing and reacting to stunts that most college blockers and he always seems to be in the right position to make the play, thanks to his range and footwork.

 

In pass protection, Joeckel plays with proper knee bend to redirect, retreat and protect the outside of the pocket. He has a strong anchor and wide base, demonstrating the raw power and timing needed to rock defenders back on their heels when he executes his hand punch. He is very successful at leading the way on running plays, as he has a good concept for taking correct angles and is always looking for secondary targets to attack after blocking his initial assignment.

 

Joeckel works well with his guards on combo blocks, as he can easily loop around another blocker and stall the bull rush, as he also keeps his hands active and within his frame to handle counter and inside spin moves. He has good ease-of-movement agility and lateral quickness to handle the speed rush, combining that with above average strength to neutralize the bull rush.

 

Joeckel has always been a model of consistency, which dates back to his time as a member of the Arlington High School football team, where he and his brother, Matt, played for head coach Scott Peach. During his senior season, he earned consensus All-American honors, as he protected his brother in the pocket and anchored an offensive line that averaged just under 475 yards per game.

 

A second-team all-state selection by the Associated Press as a junior, Joeckel recorded 161 knockdowns and graded over 89% for blocking consistency. He added 155 pancake blocks and was named to the Super Team first-team by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the All-Dallas Area first-team by The Dallas Morning News in 2009. He was also a first-team all-district honoree and a Super Prep Southwest Team member.

 

Joeckel received a four-star prospect grade from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service called him the 15th-best offensive tackle in the nation. He added another four-star rating from Scout.com, as that service placed him fifth among prep offensive tackles, 39th on their overall national list and sixth on their Texas Top 100 squad. He would graduate early after attaining a 3.5 grade point average.

 

Joeckel accepted a scholarship offer from Texas A&M, signing his national letter-of-intent before his senior prep season, on April 4th, 2009. Other schools that were on his final selection list included Alabama, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, UCLA and Texas Tech.

 

Upon arriving for preseason camp, Joeckel discussed what he would bring to the Texas A&M program. “I’m really good at finishing off blocks,” he stated. “I don’t stop until the whistle blows. I’m always practicing my technique and am working on playing lower. I need to bend my knees more and improve my balance. I also need to work on staying square in pass protection.”

 

Joeckel would make an immediate impact for the Aggies, taking over the left offensive tackle position after enrolling at A&M in January and competing during spring drills. He  would man during his entire career with the team, as A&M would compile a 27-12 record during his three seasons in the lineup. As a freshman, he earned All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention and was a first-team pick on the league’s All-Freshman squad. He posted 89 key blocks/knockdowns as the team ranked 23rd in the nation with an average of 441.85 yards per game.

 

Joeckel led a front wall that yielded just nine quarterback sacks during the 2011 schedule. The All-Big Twelve Conference first-team pick produced thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks to help the team rank seventh nationally in total offense (490.23 ypg), eleventh in scoring (39.08 ppg) and 18th in passing (291.08 ypg).

 

His junior campaign saw Joeckel capture unanimous All-American and All-Southeastern first-team accolades. His steady play resulted in the Aggies dominating throughout their introduction to a new league. They not only upset eventual national champion Alabama, but led the conference in total offense (third in the nation with 558.54 ypg), scoring (fourth nationally; 44.46 ppg), rushing (11th in the FBS with 242.08 ypg) and passing (316.46 ypg).

 

Twenty of the team’s touchdowns on the ground came with their left tackle leading the charge. Joeckel also delivered 129 knockdowns and allowed just one of the 23 sacks surrendered by the offensive line. He would close out his career by being selected to USA Today’s All-Bowl Team, thanks to his stellar performance during a defeat of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Addition, he was named the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient.

 

After the Cotton Bowl, the university announced on January 3rd, 2013, that Joeckel had decided to forego his senior season for the 2013 NFL draft. “This was a very difficult decision for me,” Joeckel said as he traveled to Omaha to take part in the Outland Trophy ceremonies.

 

“I have thought long and hard and visited with my family and coaches. I feel it is in my best interest to come out. I appreciate all that Texas A&M has done for me and my family. It is tough to leave a great group of coaches and players, including my twin brother Matt. I know they will have a great season in 2013 and I will remain their biggest fan.”

 

“I am 27 hours short of my degree from the Mays Business School and I have every intention of finishing as soon as possible,” Joeckel stated. “One thing that is certain, I am an Aggie and will always be an Aggie.”

 

“Luke is projected to be one of the top players selected in the overall draft,” Aggie head football coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We appreciate everything he has done for Aggie football and Texas A&M and wish him well in the NFL.”

 

CAREER NOTES

Joeckel started all 39 games during his Texas A&M career at the demanding left offensive tackle position, as the team compiled a 27-12 record with the junior in the lineup…He would be the first player in school history to even be a finalist for the Outland Trophy, winning the coveted honor in 2012…Produced 42 touchdown-resulting blocks and 327 key blocks/knockdowns for the Aggies.

 

2012 SEASON

The Outland Trophy winner, Joeckel was the fourth SEC player to receive that honor in the past six years…Was a unanimous All-American first-team selection (The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, American Football Coaches Association, CBS Sports, Pro Football Weekly, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Max Emfinger, Yahoo, Sports and the Football Writers Association)…Garnered All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors and was the recipient of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is given annually to the top blocker in the SEC, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference, the South Atlantic Conference and the South Conference…Started all thirteen games at the demanding left offensive tackle position, where he registered 129 knockdowns and twenty touchdown-resulting blocks for a team that led the league in total offense, scoring, rushing and passing, placing third in the nation with a total of 558.54 yards per game, fourth with an average of 44.46 points, eleventh with 242.08 yards per game on the ground and fourteenth with an average of 316.46 aerial yards…His dominance in the trenches saw the team score at least twice on the ground in each game and amass at least 600 yards in total offense in seven contests…

NFL scouts praised his performance vs. Louisiana State’s talented defensive line, in which Joeckel matched-up well vs. defensive end Sam Montgomery. The left tackle posted ten knockdowns and a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks. Though out-weighing LSU’s fear-some pass rushers Montgomery (6-5, 260) and Barkevious Mingo (6-4, 240) by an average of 57.5 pounds, Joeckel (6-6, 310) and right tackle Jake Matthews (6-5, 305) proved to be every bit as athletically gifted in shutting them down and providing the Aggies’ quarter-back Johnny Manziel with the clean pocket from which to attack. Protecting Manziel’s blindside, Joeckel played as critical a role in the Aggies’ game plan as anyone. Lining up vs. Montgomery, the Tigers’ leading pass rusher this season, Joeckel routinely met the athletic defender on the edge and simply stopped him in his tracks, showing the lateral agility to remain square, as well as the upper body strength to lock up and dominate his opponent. Joeckel was just as impressive on the few occasions when LSU elected to blitz, showing the ability to get an initial powerful punch on his primary assignment before switching off to shove the blitzing linebacker or safety…”I think he is better than Joe Thomas and Matt Kalil,” one NFL GM said according to Pro Football Weekly after the Aggies’ clash vs. the Tigers… Joeckel’s light feet and overall athleticism made him a difficult draw for any of the Gator pass rushers defensive coordinator Dan Quinn sent his way, as both of the team’s rushing touchdowns came with the left tackle leading the way vs. Florida…Behind every heroic quarterback is a guy he knows will always have his back. For Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Joeckel is the man. In the first quarter of a 29-24 upset win over Alabama, the quarterback took the snap on third-&-goal from the 10-yard line vs. the vaunted Tide defense. Manziel ran into a teammate and then bobbled the football, but the QB regained his grip on the ball, escaped the pressure and found a clearing to his left, courtesy of the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Joeckel, who had just whipped linebacker Adrian Hubbard out of the way. Into that space Manziel raced, flicking as he threw a wobbly spiral into the back of the end zone, where the Aggies’ Ryan Swope pulled the ball in for a score…In the Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma, Joeckel helped clear the way for an A&M offense that generated 633 total yards, including 326 rushing yards and 307 passing yards. The left tackle and his offensive line mates also ensured that quarterback Johnny Manziel was not sacked by the Sooners.

 

2011 SEASON

Joeckel earned first-team All-Big Twelve Conference honors from the Associated Press and The NFL Draft Report, as he also made that scouting information service’s Sophomore All-American team…The cornerstone of the Aggies’ offensive front that allowed just nine sacks in thirteen games and set then-school records for total offense (seventh in the nation at 490.23 ypg), passing (291.08 ypg) and scoring (11th nationally at 39.08 ppg) offense…The sophomore also delivered thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and 109 key blocks/knockdowns while helping the Aggies rush for 199.2 yard per game, which ranked 24th nationally…Texas A&M was one of the few teams nationally to rank in the top 25 in all four major offense statistical categories.

 

2010 SEASON

In his first collegiate season, Joeckel was named honorable mention All-Big Twelve Conference and selected to the league’s All-Freshman team…Started all thirteen games at left tackle after enrolling at the university in January, in time to compete for the starting position during spring camp…Cleared the way for a rushing attack that averaged 165.8 yards per game and featured a 100-yard rusher in nine contests…Posted 89 knockdowns and nine touchdown-resulting blocks to help the Aggies average 441.85 yards per game in total offense…His performance throughout the year saw him earn Freshman All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of America and Scout.com.

 

INJURY REPORT

No major injuries reported.

 

AGILITY TESTS

5.30 in the 40-yard dash…1.78 10-yard dash…2.93 20-yard dash…4.68 20-yard shuttle…

7.43 three-cone drill…28 ½-inch vertical jump…8’10” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times…34 ¼-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…78 5/8-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Joeckel attended Arlington (Tex.) High, along with his twin brother, Matt, who competed at quarterback for head coach Scott Peach…During his senior season, he earned consensus All-American honors, as he protected his brother in the pocket and anchored an offensive line that averaged just under 475 yards per game…A second-team all-state selection by the Associated Press as a junior, Joeckel recorded 161 knockdowns and graded over 89% for blocking consistency…Added 155 pancake blocks and was named to the Super Team first-team by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the All-Dallas Area first-team by The Dallas Morning News in 2009…Also a first-team all-district honoree and a Super Prep Southwest Team member…Received a four-star prospect grade from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service called him the 15th-best offensive tackle in the nation…Added another four-star rating from Scout.com, as that service placed him fifth among prep offensive tackles, 39th on their overall national list and sixth on their Texas Top 100 squad…Would graduate early after attaining a 3.5 grade point average

 

PERSONAL

Business major…Son of Reecanne and Dave Joeckel…Luke’s twin brother, Matt, is a reserve sophomore quarterback at Texas A&M and they both played together at Arlington High School…Their older brother, David, played on the offensive line at DePauw…Their father, now a trial lawyer in Fort Worth, was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as an offensive lineman at Texas Tech, under coaches Rex Dockery and Jerry Moore, from 1979–1982…His grandfather, Reece Washington, played tight end for Texas Tech…Born 11/06/91…Resides in Arlington, Texas.

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.