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Big-school dynamic could keep Joeckel in front of Fisher


New Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey recently said he has dreamed of running a draft.  Make the wrong selection with the first overall pick, however, and the dream becomes something else.

That dynamic is prompting many league insiders and observers to believe that Dorsey and the Chiefs are destined to make the safe choice with the first overall pick in Dorsey’s first draft as G.M.  And the safe choice, between the two elite left tackles, widely is regarded to be Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel.

Some view Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher (pictured) as having a greater upside; there’s plenty of chatter that multiple teams have Fisher atop their individual draft boards.  But Fisher’s small-school pedigree makes it harder to explain away a bust, if Fisher ends up being a bad choice.

Not so for Joeckel, who played last year in NFL Lite a/k/a the SEC.  If Joeckel busts, his college experience makes it much easier to defend the error.

That’s not to say the Chiefs should take Fisher or Joeckel.  Both could end up being great players.  At a time when some think Fisher could be even better at the next level, choosing Fisher over Joeckel entails departing from the safe harbor that comes from picking the player who went to the bigger school.

In the end, it’s a decision that only Dorsey and coach Andy Reid can make.  As long as the two players end up performing like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, it won’t matter.  But if there’s a Peyton Manning/Ryan Leaf gap between the duo, the Chiefs had better hope they picked left tackle equivalent of Peyton.

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31 Responses to “Big-school dynamic could keep Joeckel in front of Fisher”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 21, 2013 9:46 PM

    No excuses, make a great pick or suffer the consequences. Or make a trade as that appears to be the best option. I’m grading the KC GM on his success rate at figuring out how to trade out of the #1 spot. If he selects anybody, then he’s going to have his work cut out for him to follow up with other deals to complete a worst-to-first type of transformation.

    Get to work and find that trade, there’s 31 other teams and the 1 that has the best of those 31 offers is the route to choose in lieu of making a #1 selection in this draft. Let that team overpay by giving up strategic leverage for the long-term.

  2. pnut87 says: Apr 21, 2013 9:48 PM

    The bigger issue is that this article is taking a spot on the front page away from Revis.

  3. thesteelers says: Apr 21, 2013 9:49 PM

    Everyone who studies film knows Fisher is the better tackle.

  4. thestillcity says: Apr 21, 2013 9:51 PM

    Good thing the 49ers didn’t get scared of drafting Joe Staley out of Central Michigan, or Mike Iupati from Idaho. That would be passing on a lot of Pro Bowls for a pretty superficial reason.

    Talent is talent, no matter what conference it’s playing in. And that’s double true for a “late-bloomer” position like left tackle. Very few 18-year olds are 6’6″ and 300 athletic pounds. The best draft picks are often the 250-pound recruits, who don’t get recognized by big schools, and put on 50 good pounds over four years at a smaller institution.

  5. shayeezy says: Apr 21, 2013 9:52 PM

    neither guy will be a true bust – they will both be very good players in the NFL. but one of them has a much higher likelihood of being a top 5 LT, and that’s fisher.

  6. Iknoweverything says: Apr 21, 2013 9:53 PM

    Why mention Luck and FraudIII ???? Yet you and every other media hack continue to ignore that Russell Wilson is head and shoulders above both

  7. jredshoes says: Apr 21, 2013 9:54 PM

    No matter who the Chiefs pick it will probably result in another article about Revis

  8. aldavisisthenfl says: Apr 21, 2013 9:57 PM

    So JaBustus is easier to splain away……..

  9. jrebar88 says: Apr 21, 2013 10:00 PM

    The joke of the league can now take the joke of the draft. Enjoy another last place season! Von Miller will own him his entire career.

  10. apmn says: Apr 21, 2013 10:01 PM

    If there was a left tackle equivalent to Peyton, would his head:

    A) look proportional on the larger body, or

    B) be even larger so as to maintain bobble-head proportions?

  11. juradura says: Apr 21, 2013 10:12 PM

    Joe Staley, Antonio Brown, Cullen Jenkins, Frank Zombo all played at CMU. JJ Watt began his college career at Central before transferring to Wisco. Small school or not they’ve had some very good football players over the years.

  12. Giantspunk213 says: Apr 21, 2013 10:14 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fisher ended up being the 3rd tackle taken, Lane Johnson is more athletic and if Philly goes tackle at 4 i think he’ll be the pick. He won’t get out of the top 5 though, Detroit will grab him.

  13. dalucks says: Apr 21, 2013 10:16 PM

    Would you consider Jake Long a bust? Who considers Jake Long as the best LT in the NFL? Those were the expectations he came into the NFL with. I am sure the Dolphins are happy Jeff Ireland took Long over Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco.
    So much for your big school linemen. Remember, Tony Mandarich went to a big school.
    I would think Eric Fisher would be the better player considering he has made alot of strives to be considered a top 5 pick. Imagine what he could do if he had some better coaching. Then again, he might have already had the best coaching he will ever get. NFL coaching is becoming an overrated myth.
    If you head coach does not have the last name of Belichik, Coughlin, Tomlin, Harbaugh, Peyton or McCarthy then your favorite team is probably coached by an idiot butt kissser.

  14. Max says: Apr 21, 2013 10:20 PM

    Wait did this article just say Fisher and Joeckel have to perform on the level of RG3 and Luck… dying with laughter over here.

  15. dmbgeek87 says: Apr 21, 2013 10:29 PM

    I don’t think you can go wrong with either guy, and I don’t think it’s a matter of being a “safe” choice. Both players are rated at the top for the OT class, and both are BPA in the top 5 picks.

    The better question is which tackle will be the best fit in Andy Reid’s offensive scheme.

    Trent Baalke, 49ers GM, had a great quote during his press conference the other day. “The teams that have been successful for a long period of time are teams that aren’t drafting to need that given year. They’re drafting a year, maybe even two years ahead of need.”

    Assuming Albert is the starting LT, I wouldn’t be surprised Fisher as the pick. Get the NFL experience at RT, and then develop into a dominant LT in 2014 since he has the “higher ceiling”.

  16. eatitfanboy says: Apr 21, 2013 10:44 PM

    I wouldn’t necessarily lean towards major conference players. However, if I have two players that I rank to be just about even, the fact that one played against superior competition in college could sway me.

    I mean, who you play against should mean something, right?

  17. raiderapologist says: Apr 21, 2013 10:45 PM

    Robert Gallery was allegedly the safest pick in the draft in 2004. The Raiders drafted Jared Veldheer in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft, and Veldheer turned out to be a far better left tackle. When it comes to draft picks, people that comment have about as much chance of being correct as the people making the picks.

  18. kcflake says: Apr 21, 2013 10:45 PM

    As a Die Hard Chiefs Fans, I think they can choose either player and Win the Pick. Both will be Top Shelf players in the league.

    Either Way, We are in Much More Capable Hands with Dorsey than we were with Pioli. He would probably have peed his pants and skipped the pick altogether.

    Still hoping the Chiefs can trade back in the top 7 and pick up some extra picks.

  19. autumnwind999 says: Apr 21, 2013 11:01 PM

    Joeckel is hands down the better prospect. We’re getting to the point where everyone starts over thinking and the media tries to stir the pot. Fisher’s a good prospect too, but Joeckel is a slam dunk.

  20. mazblast says: Apr 21, 2013 11:08 PM

    When you’ve traded your second round pick away, getting the first round pick right is even more critical. IMO Joeckel is less likely to be a bust, Fisher has the higher upside. I go the safer route and take Joeckel, but who really knows?

    Let’s face it, NO ONE knows how a draft pick will turn out, even the #1 pick in the draft. From JaMarcus back to Walt Patulski, even the top pick can be a stiff.

  21. pflynn20 says: Apr 21, 2013 11:57 PM

    Don’t worry Andy Reid has a great history of not missing on 1st round picks. Pffffffffffffffffft

  22. jbaxt says: Apr 22, 2013 12:11 AM

    I just hope KC doesn’t have to pay millions for Joeckel’s backup in 3-4 years…

    Like the raiders are doing with Flynn after the stellar years of Jamarcus…

    Oh to be a raider fan, so laughable.

  23. skilaufenhase says: Apr 22, 2013 12:44 AM

    Larry Allen went to Sonoma State. I’m not sure thats even DI

  24. saintsfan34 says: Apr 22, 2013 12:55 AM

    Absolutely no one us talking about how Kiki Mingo owned Luke Joekel vs A&M. Mingo beat him 7 times got 1 sack. Would of had 6 if it weren’t for Johnny Football escaping ability. Luke J. is either overrated or Mingo is best in draft.

  25. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 22, 2013 2:11 AM

    The big-school dynamic isn’t working so well for Rolando McClain. He was just arrested again tonight.

  26. phillyphannn83 says: Apr 22, 2013 2:32 AM

    Oh great and all-knowing strategyexpert, please tell me, when was the last time the the #1 overall pick was traded away??? were waiting…and waiting…and yes, were still waiting.

    The fact of the matter is, the #1 pick is so valuable that no one outside the top 5 can afford to make a move for that pick and no one IN the top 5 has a reason to do so.

    Second question…is your name supposed to be an oxymoron???

  27. eventhorizon04 says: Apr 22, 2013 3:00 AM

    “Absolutely no one us talking about how Kiki Mingo owned Luke Joekel vs A&M. ”

    That’s because Mingo plays left defensive end, meaning he’s lined up against the right tackle.

    Luke Joeckel is a left tackle.

  28. andyvictory says: Apr 22, 2013 4:55 AM

    So to simplify this article. Spoonfed rich men in suits, mixed with horrible, off-base, over-intrusive sports media has led to this. People who do NOTHING anywhere near the feild worry about who “might make us look bad and why” going into this years draft, rather than everything that actually matters. Why do “intriguing” stories constantly outweigh the actual sport itself. I love football, I hate missing it so much that I occasionally read about it on TMZ-esque sites.

  29. dcsween says: Apr 22, 2013 9:50 AM

    The comparison to RG3 and Luck is not applicable. The more analogous comparison would be the more highly touted Russell Okung being chosen after the less acclaimed Trent Williams.

  30. blogatron2000 says: Apr 22, 2013 10:58 AM

    Totally preposterous. Are any of these “many league insiders” actual football people or are they all media?

    Pretty sure that Dorsey and Reid are going to take the guy they feel is the best player and the best fit for the Chiefs regardless of popular opinion. If not, they shouldn’t be in the league.

  31. shayeezy says: Apr 22, 2013 11:16 AM

    mingo was moved around and rushed from both sides.

    put on any joeckel film and you’ll see him get beat a number of times, only to be bailed out by manziel/tannehill’s mobility. guy is just not a dominant, shut-down LT. he has nearly flawless technique, but that doesn’t make up for him lacking elite explosiveness and strength.

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