NFL Mock Draft 2013: Is Luke Joeckel becoming the definite pick for Chiefs?

USA TODAY Sports

With the draft three weeks away, is Kansas City going to lock in on the left tackle? Mock drafts are starting to go that way.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been on the clock for the 2013 NFL draft for months now, and the time is winding down. After a myriad of moves to address certain needs, the Chiefs have whittled down to only a few key pieces they might like to add with the top overall selection in the draft. It now appears set that unless Kansas City becomes enamored with one of the defensive prospects like Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd, or Dion Jordan, that they will instead address their need at left tackle. Though it is not a huge need to fill, since they have retained Branden Albert for now.

Kansas City could seemingly draft a player like Jordan and then keep Albert at left tackle, perhaps signing him to a long-term deal while they currently have him on a franchise tag. With several top right tackles currently available in free agency, such as Andre Smith, the Chiefs would not be in a bad position on the offensive line. However, many analysts feel that the potential of a player like Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher far exceeds what Albert has proven he can bring to the table, while also potentially coming at a cheaper cost and for a longer amount of time since they are significantly younger than Albert.

For these reasons, it is becoming more and more obvious to many draft experts that the Chiefs will decide on a tackle. Furthermore, many are thinking that the NFL-readiness of Joeckel pushes him slightly ahead of the higher ceiling of Fisher, and that Kansas City will take the Texas A&M OT with the first overall pick. In the collaborative SBNation bloggers mock draft, Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride had this to say of the Chiefs taking Joeckel:

Andy Reid's pass-heavy offense will value Joeckel, who will start his career on the right side of the line opposite Branden Albert. Joeckel then becomes insurance on the left side if Albert leaves the Chiefs via free agency in 2014.

It is far from a guarantee that the Chiefs will take Joeckel, let alone a left tackle, but as the draft nears it is becoming more apparent that they probably will. At least, according to the mock drafters.

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