The 2013 NFL Draft was nothing short of bizarre. Few things point to that strangeness more than the fact that Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, the top two picks in the draft, will be starting their careers as right tackles.
While both Fisher and Joeckel protected their quarterback's blindsides in college, playing on the left side, they were both drafted by teams with starting caliber left tackles already in place. Given the lack of elite talent at the top of the board, the Chiefs and Jaguars each decided to go with the best player available, despite the perceived lack of positional value.
Both have the potential to return to left tackle at some point in their careers, but the adjustment period begins now. Joeckel told the Associated Press (via ESPN) that he was starting to feel more comfortable in just his second practice on the right side:
It's feeling a lot better than I thought it would. My set felt a lot cleaner today and my first step felt a little bit faster today. It's going to be a process, but it's moving along pretty well.
Though he enters the final season of his contract, Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe should continue to be rock solid anchoring the left side of the line. Provided the Jaguars are able to re-sign him, Joeckel may have to get used to playing his new position.
Compared to his fellow top pick, Fisher looks more likely to become a long-term fixture at left tackle for the Chiefs, even if he has to start his career on the right side.
Kansas City placed the franchise tag on Branden Albert, who has been a serviceable blindside protector, but he has been subject of trade rumors and speculation over medical concerns. He also has the versatility to play guard, so Fisher's upside at left tackle should win out in the long run.
For now, both Fisher and Joeckel both just want to get on the field and compete.
"I want to get on the field," Joeckel told the AP. "I want to help my team win football games, whatever position it might be. If they wanted me to go play guard, I'd go play guard. I definitely would love to be a left tackle in the future, but whatever gets me on the field is what I'd do."