2013 NFL Draft: Luke Joeckel top OT on Mel Kiper big board

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Joeckel is Mel Kiper's top offensive lineman and the No. 3 overall prospect on his latest big board.

One thing remains virtually guaranteed when it comes to the NFL Draft: an offensive tackle will be taken as one of the top picks. Any person who says that the quarterback isn't the most important person on a football team will probably be of the opinion that the honor belongs to a left tackle.

And every year, some of the top-picking teams in the draft scramble to secure a player that will hopefully hold down their line for a decade or longer.

This year, the consensus best offensive tackle is Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M. In fact, Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN not only has Joeckel as his top offensive lineman, but as his No. 3 player out of all those entering the 2013 NFL Draft.

Johnny Manziel will miss Joeckel. He just eliminates good pass-rushers for the most part, even as that's an area he can improve a little. There's very little to not like. He has a lot of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. He can really drive people in the run game. The feeling now is he's a safe bet to be the first OT taken.

Joeckel will almost certainly be the top offensive lineman taken. It's possible that he could even go No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs, who desperately need some help on their offensive line.

The entire Texas A&M offensive line was lights out this past season, which helped Manziel on his quest for the Heisman Trophy. He consistently was able to concentrate on getting the ball out, while ignoring some of the SEC's best pass rushers.

That whole line being great might be the only thing about Joeckel to give teams pause, but much of that doubt can be assuaged by the fact that he's started every game since his freshman season and has hours and hours of game tape to show off his skill.

It's very likely he'll come right in and start at left tackle for some lucky team next year.

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