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Luke Joeckel on becoming top pick: 'It's crazy to think about'

By Matt Rybaltowski | CBSSports.com

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The Chiefs may select Luke Joeckel with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. (USATSI)

Following the acquisition of Alex Smith, the signing of Sean Smith and the addition of experienced veterans at wide receiver and cornerback, the Kansas City Chiefs have already filled several needs in Andy Reid's first offseason with the team.

The moves have also increased the possibility that the Chiefs could select Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel with the first overall pick in this month's NFL Draft. Since the Dolphins took Jake Long with the top pick in the 2008 draft, a quarterback has been taken with the first overall selection in four straight years.

"It's just crazy to think about," Joeckel told the Kansas City Star. "Starting football in the second grade, you don't really think about that kind of stuff. I am definitely striving to be the No. 1 pick, going through this entire process. But my dream is to just play in the NFL."

Like many of the top left tackles in the NFL, Joeckel (6-feet-6, 306 pounds) has a relatively lean frame and long arms (34¼ inches). The former Aggies All-American is regarded for his stellar footwork -- demonstrated by his agility and balance when facing a speed rush. It is little surprise then that CBSSports.com draft expert Rob Rang compares Joeckel's combination of size, speed and athleticism with Browns six-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas.

Joeckel is receiving stiff competition from Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher and Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson. Fisher is known as a mauler for his proclivity to drive opposing ends into the ground, and Johnson earned top lineman honors at the Senior Bowl for his overall play in the week of practice leading up to the game. Although Chiefs general manager John Dorsey has reportedly narrowed his list to four players to consider with the first pick, the team has not yet scheduled private visits with Joeckel or Fisher, according to NFL.com.

At the scouting combine in February, Joeckel ran the 40-yard dash in 5.30 and had 27 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Joeckel stood on his combine numbers at last month's Aggies Pro Day when he went through limited positional drills in front of scouts from nearly every NFL team.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following Matt Rybaltowski on Twitter @mattrybaltowski.

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