Texas born, Texas bred, NFL ready
Texas born, Texas bred, NFL ready
2013-04-25 08:00:00

Luke Joeckel can make Texas football history at tonight's NFL Draft.

 By Greg Tepper
 DCTF Associate Editor

As sports fans, we inherently enjoy transitions. The reason we enjoy National Signing Day so much is because we can follow our favorite high school players as they move on to college.

Tonight will be a big moment of transition for 32 college football players, as the 2013 NFL Draft gets underway from New York.

And for one player inparticular, he could join a unique piece of Texas history.

Since he came out of Arlington High School, Luke Joeckel has been a guy that everyone has had their eye on. Sure, he plays one of the positions that most casual fans don’t notice much – offensive tackle – but the well-trained eye always noticed something special about Joeckel during his time for the Colts and at Texas A&M. He’s a huge guy, tipping the scales at over 300 pounds, but he moves his feet with such ease and quickness. Combine that with terrific technique and a ferocity that plays to the whistle, and you have a guy tailor-made to play offensive tackle, one of the most important positions on the field.

And if no one else will say it, I will: I’m not sure Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman Trophy last season if he doesn’t have a guy as good as Luke Joeckel protecting his blind side. I think he was that important to Texas A&M’s offense.

And now, Joeckel is ready to make one last transition, as he almost assuredly be drafted in tonight’s first round (I suppose nothing is guaranteed, but I’ll eat my hat and every hat in the surrounding three categories if he doesn’t go tonight).

Most draft experts project that either Joeckel or Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher will be drafted first overall tonight by the Kansas City Chiefs. What’s (almost) guaranteed is that Joeckel will be taken in the top 5 of the draft, and that’s where he’ll make his Texas history.

Since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, just 19 players who played both their high school and college football in the state of Texas have gone in the Top 5 of the NFL Draft.

The first: Houston TE Riley Odoms back in 1972, as the Corpus Christi West Oso grad was taken fifth overall by the Denver Broncos.

The most recent: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III just last year, as Copperas Cove’s own Griffin was selected second by the Washington Redskins.

The list is dotted with some of the most famous names in Texas football history, guys like Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson and LaDanian Tomlinson and Vince Young. It’s extremely, extremely rarefied air, and Joeckel will almost assuredly breathe it tonight.

What’s more: If Joeckel is, in fact, the top overall pick, he would be just the third Texas HS/college player to be taken first overall. The other two: the aforementioned Campbell, as the Tyler Rose was taken out of Texas by the Houston Oilers in 1978; and Texas DE Kenneth Sims, a Groesbeck Product who went first overall to the New England Patriots in 1982.

The state of Texas has been the premier football state in the country for quite a while, and tonight, Luke Joeckel will etch his name in Lone Star football history.

The complete list of players taken in the top 5 of the NFL Draft since the merger who played both their high school and college football in Texas is below.

2012 2 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor Copperas Cove
2011 2 Von Miller LB Texas A&M DeSoto
2009 2 Jason Smith OL Baylor Dallas White
2006 3 Vince Young QB Texas Houston Madison
2005 4 Cedric Benson RB Texas Midland Lee
2002 4 Mike Williams OL Texas The Colony
2002 5 Quentin Jammer CB Texas Angleton
2001 2 Leonard Davis OL Texas Wortham
2001 5 LaDanian Tomlinson RB TCU Waco University
1992 2 Quentin Coryatt LB Texas A&M Baytown Lee
1985 3 Ray Childress DL Texas A&M Richardson Pearce
1983 2 Eric Dickerson RB SMU Sealy
1982 1 Kenneth Sims DE Texas Groesbeck
1980 2 Lam Jones WR Texas Lampasas
1980 5 Curtis Dickey RB Texas A&M Bryan
1978 1 Earl Campbell RB Texas John Tyler
1975 5 Mack Mitchell DL Houston Diboll
1973 3 Jerry Sisemore OL Texas Plainview
1972 5 Riley Odoms TE Houston CC West Oso

Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.

He can be reached via e-mail, via Twitter (@Tepper) and via the DCTF Facebook page.

Please remember that you are responsible for the content you post on texasfootball.com. Any content containing profanity, personal attacks, antisocial behavior, or is otherwise inappropriate will be removed from our website. Users who fail to abide by these guidelines may be permanently banned. The comments/ideas shared in the Facebook commenting system do not reflect the views of Dave Campbell¹s Texas Football.

If you would like to report inappropriate behavior within the Facebook commenting system, please email subservice@texasfootball.com and we will review your request.

Subscribe to DCTF

Forgot Your Password?

Not a subscriber yet?
By registering on TexasFootball.com you'll get instant access to exclusive content and printed magazines. learn more »

Mr. Texas Football
Special Offer

What is being overheard around the state of Texas

WaterCooler Talk
Special thanks to DCTF for making the mag widely available on it’s release date...I’m a faithful reader and I already look forward to the winter edition with a recap of a stellar 2012 football sea...Broderic ,

Grab your copy of the 2015 Summer Edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football today!

coming soon magazine cover