Luke Joeckel Needs To Get His Game Together


Luke Joeckel is a top two NFL pick. You wouldn’t know it by watching him play, though.

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After only playing in just five games during his rookie season due to injury, the Jaguars’ starting left tackle was expected to come in and be an anchor for a young, patchwork line.

Maybe it was too much pressure on the young tackle or maybe it was just too much faith too early, but so far Joeckel has not proven to be worthy of starting at left tackle. The alternatives, namely Sam Young, may not be an improvement, so Joeckel remains cemented at his position for now. The fact that GM Dave Caldwell spent his second overall pick on Joeckel in the 2013 draft means he’ll likely be with the team a while as well.

So he better get his game together and get it together fast.

Against the New York Giants on Sunday, Joeckel was obviously lagging behind the opposition. He’s credited with only giving up a sack (of seven for the whole offensive line) according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required) but he played much poorer than that. Joeckel also had two penalties called on him, bringing his season total up to five.

Joeckel hasn’t proven to be anything better than mediocre at this point. He has allowed five sacks, seven QB hits, and 17 hurries so far this season. He has been beaten by good pass rushers and bad.

It’s disheartening to see him play poorly again.

It’s disheartening because we know the talent level is there. Joeckel is essentially a “can’t miss” prospect and we all breathed a sigh of relief when the Kansas City Chiefs took Eric Fisher first overall instead of Joeckel in the 2013 draft. But, Joeckel is not performing up to his potential right now. There’s something halting his play from being at a respectable level.

Whatever it is, Joeckel needs to buckle down and hone his craft. The Jaguars are nowhere near perfect along the offensive line, but Joeckel needs to be a leader and show he can become the best left tackle he can be in this mishmash of an O-line. I’d love to be able to look at Joeckel and say, “That guy is a building piece. He’s setting the tone for the Jaguars’ rebuild.” Unfortunately, right now we’re all left wondering how he keeps messing up.

Time to get your game together, Luke Joeckel. The Jaguars need you.