NEW YORK - For the first time since the merger, offensive tackles were selected with the No.1 and No. 2 picks in the NFL Draft. Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Luke Joeckel were considered the two best players in the draft and were selected accordingly.
But then things got interesting. Lane Johnson came off the board at No.4 to the Philadelphia Eagles, marking the first time since 1967 that three offensive tackles had been taken in the first four picks. To make things even more interesting, two guards were gone by pick No. 10.
"That's a lot of love for the big boys up front, which we usually don't get," Fisher said.
Offensive linemen continued to get love as the unpredictable first round unfolded at Radio City Music Hall. In total, three guards, five offensive tackles and a center were drafted in the first round, as teams opted to bolster the trenches rather than draft skill players.
"It's always nice when the O-line gets some respect," Joeckel said. "We usually get the crummy meeting room, the crummy chairs in our meeting rooms and it's always nice when we get some respect."
The media room became a parade for the big men. As opposed to 2012, when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III headlined a star studded NFL Draft, eight of the first 10 picks went to offensive or defensive linemen.
"I think a lot of teams are realizing how important the position is because the guys, they look pretty scoring the touchdowns, but they get space to score those touchdowns from us," Joeckel said.