With the 1st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft…
The Kansas City Chiefs select Eric Fisher, offensive tackle, Central Michigan.
Eat your heart out, Luke Joeckel.
I’m sure this isn’t the prediction you were hoping for, but let’s be realistic. Branden Albert and the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t on speaking terms, the rumors about Miami’s willingness to meet Albert’s demands are heating up, and the Chiefs are unlikely to get better draft value at another position. Drafting an offensive tackle is basically inevitable at this point; however, I don’t think it’ll be the one the draftniks expect.
I believe Joeckel will be better out of the starting blocks (as he’s currently the more polished player), but Fisher will eventually become the superior left tackle in the NFL. Fisher has the edge in athleticism and is easily the more aggressive and physical offensive lineman of the two. There are some concerns about the level of competition he faced in college, but there are no questions about how dominant he was against said competition. Joeckel’s name has been linked with the Chiefs for months now, but Fisher is the best left tackle in this draft class.
The AP Third-Team All-American has the potential to become a Joe Staley at the next level. Fisher’s a mountain at 6’7″, 306 pounds, but he’s light on his feet. Fisher dominated at the Senior Bowl then went on to post a 5.05 40 time, 27 reps of 225, and a Combine-best 116″ broad jump and 4.44 in the 20-yard shuttle. His draft stock has skyrocketed over the past 90 days. Initial scouting reports had him going somewhere in the middle of the first round. He’s now in position to be the first player taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com seems to think the Chiefs prefer Fisher to Joeckel. He says there’s quite a bit of buzz around league circles that the Chiefs just may take him with the #1 pick:
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs decided to take Eric Fisher with the #1 pick. A lot of buzz out there. #NFLDraft
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 17, 2013
I think there could be some truth to Jeremiah’s speculation. Several of the draft experts think Fisher has a higher ceiling than Joeckel. I’m also in that camp. I’m no Mike Mayock, but here’s a deeper analysis of Fisher’s game.
In pass protection:
Pass blocking may well be the strongest part of Eric Fisher’s game. He has excellent balance, anchors well, and has nimble footwork to effectively mirror his man. His smooth, quick kick step makes it possible for him to keep up with quicker defenders. Fisher’s long arms make it difficult for defensive players to get into his chest. He tends to keep his base wide and that helps him win most of his battles. Couple all of this with above-average leverage and the ability recover quickly, and you’ll understand why he’s sure to become Alex Smith’s best friend on the football field.
As a run blocker:
Fisher is an adequate drive blocker who should fit right into Andy Reid’s power-blocking scheme. His lateral movement is impressive for a player his size and he has the foot speed to get to the second level on run plays. Fisher has good straight-line speed, but he’s also quick in getting off the ball. He’s particularly adept at exploding into a defender and maintaining his blocks. He’ll get high on occasion, but he’s generally a natural knee-bender. Eric Fisher has enough lower-body strength to move a defender, but he could stand a little extra time with Barry Rubin (head strength and conditioning coach) once he arrives in Kansas City.
Here’s some of the best footage available of Fisher’s work against top competition:
We’ll square up again next week to see if I was right and to talk about the rest of the Chiefs’ 2013 draft class. Use the comment section below to make your own predictions about what the Chiefs will do with their top pick. Just remember, “When I’m right, I’m right. When I’m wrong, I could’ve been right, so I’m still right, cause I could’ve been wrong.” We good?
Until next time, Addicts!