Jaguars ink 2nd overall pick Luke Joeckel to his rookie deal
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Saturday that they have signed Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to his rookie contract. Joeckel is the highest draft pick to sign a contract this offseason. Only two other Top 10 picks have signed their rookie contracts so far, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah with the Detroit Lions and wide receiver Tavon Austin with the St. Louis Rams.
Luke Joeckel’s contract is worth more than $21.2 million over four years with a $13.799 million signing bonus. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport quoted a source familiar with the contract negotiations on Saturday. The contract is fully guaranteed with no offsets. Offset language is believed to be an issue with third overall pick Dion Jordan, since the Miami Dolphins are expected to insist on including offset language in the rookie defensive end’s contract.
The 21-year-old Joeckel is expected to immediate start on the right side of Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line while Eugene Monroe mans the left side. The front office hopes that Joeckel and Monroe will provide the Jacksonville Jaguars with its best tackle tandem since Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy in the late 1990s, giving Blaine Gabbert enough time in the pocket to further to develop into a passable NFL starting quarterback.
The Jaguars allowed the third-highest sacks in the league last season (50) with the right tackle and left guard primarily at fault. Joeckel allowed just three sacks in his last two seasons with the Aggies.
Joeckel said he is ready to make the transition to the right side of the Jaguars’ offensive line this season after primarily playing left tackle with the Aggies over the last three season.
"I want to get on the field. I want to help my team win football games, whatever position it might be,” said Joeckel. “If they wanted me to go play guard, I'd go play guard. I definitely would love to be a left tackle in the future, but whatever gets me on the field is what I'd do."
He worked exclusively with the first-team offense during the Jaguars’ offseason workouts over the last two months, and managed to impress the coaching staff.
"He has excellent movement skills, great balance, he's a very smart kid," offensive line coach George Yarno said last month. "He's working hard. He's going to get better fast. He's competitive…. He has all those things you look for in a tackle, especially. I'm really excited to get to work with him."