Jacksonville Jaguars vs Detroit Lions: 7 players to watch

6 of 7

Dec 7, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Luke Joeckel (76) at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

6) Luke Joeckel, offensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

I like Luke Joeckel and I hope that he can develop into the kind of player the Jacksonville Jaguars can rely on, like Eugene Monroe was before they traded him to make room for Joeckel.

So far, he hasn’t been the preeminent blindside protector the Jags anticipated, however. While the scene of James Harrison completely beating him in the first preseason game is still fresh on our minds, the big thing to take away is that Joeckel hasn’t been bad. He also hasn’t been great, either.

I would prefer if the Jags didn’t have to settle for a moderately good left tackle, but that appears to be the way this is shaping up. Joeckel really needs to step up his game in this third preseason game.

The Detroit Lions don’t have a single starting defensive lineman ready for Friday. If we see Joeckel getting beat by guys competing for rotational spots, then the Jags may have a serious problem on their hands.

Don’t expect Joeckel to come out completely flat-footed and prove inept, but let’s see if he can bully some of the defensive linemen in this game. I especially want to see how Joeckel does paving the way for running back T.J. Yeldon. Offensive linemen hold a pivotal role in the establishment of a strong running game and in the last two seasons Joeckel hasn’t been particularly impressive in that role either.

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