Depending on which mock draft you're partial to depends on which college player is projected to be the Detroit Lions' first pick (fifth overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
NFL.com writer Daniel Jeremiah sees Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel being selected by the Lions this spring. Of course, that may not bode well for Jeff Backus, the Lions' aging, 35-year old staple at the position.
In past mocks from different sources, the Lions have been projected to take star Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who would most definitely fill a void in the middle of the field. The Lions linebacking corps in 2012 was laughable at best.
Time to rebuild a few crucial positions for Detroit. A left tackle is always a cornerstone to build upon, so selecting Joeckel would be a win-win scenario. Lions GM Martin Mayhew has said in the past that he drafts with the best available philosophy over filling an obvious need.
Joeckel takes care of both.
Here's the rundown on Joeckel from Jeremiah's most recent mock on NFL.com (posted on Feb. 8):
In this scenario, the Lions would be ecstatic. Joeckel is the top offensive tackle in the draft, and he would start in Detroit from Day 1. Current left tackle Jeff Backus is 35 years old, while starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus is about to become an unrestricted free agent. Joeckel could team up with Riley Reiff to provide the Lions with two very tough, smart and physical building blocks to protect Matthew Stafford.
Joeckel played a vital role in protecting Johnny Manziel -- rather, "Johnny Football" -- during the star Aggies quarterback's Heisman season. Manziel is slightly more mobile than Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, so Joeckel may not have much of a problem adjusting -- he's used to keeping up with a fleet-footed quarterback, so aiding Stafford, a pocket passer, probably won't be an issue for the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Aggies junior lineman.
The Lions' selection of Riley Reiff (Iowa) in the 2012 draft would be complemented by taking Joeckel in 2013.
Joeckel is ranked as the No. 1 left tackle available in the draft by most sources. CBS Sports reports a 5.16-second, 40-yard dash for Joeckel.
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