The New York Giants are still trying to upgrade their offensive line. Jaguars offensive tackle Luke Joeckel could be more than a short-term solution.
The New York Giants attempted to work a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for Eugene Monroe that, according to reports, fell through because the veteran left tackle didn’t want to flip to the right side at the end of his career.
The quest for Monroe certainly isn’t over, and presumably due to Jerry Reese’s interest in the tackle, he would like the upgrade the right side of the Giants offensive line – something Giants fans have been clamoring for.
The Giants have had interest some other veteran tackles – Jake Long, Phil Loadholt, Anthony Davis – but one may have the lowest risk and the highest reward: Luke Joeckel.
Joeckel was the second overall pick in the 2013 draft and, while he hasn’t lived up to those expectations for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he’s been a serviceable player. The Jags signed former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum in the offseason to be their starter and then didn’t pick up Joeckel’s option for 2017.
The plan for Joeckel seems to be to move him to left guard, but that spot is already occupied by another free agent acquisition Mackenzy Bernadeau. Joeckel is staying positive, but still believes he’s a left tackle.
“I’m only focused on myself and me playing football, getting better at left tackle.” It’s still a competition while Beachum recovers from ACL surgery, but he should be ready by training camp and Joeckel may be the odd man out.
Joeckel is just 24 and Reese should make him a trade target. If the Giants sign him to a short-term deal and it doesn’t work out, Marshall Newhouse is still on the roster and the line remains in tact from last season. If Joeckel even comes close to his pre-draft expectations, the Giants could finally lock down the right side of the line for years to come. While signing Monroe or Long would be a band-aid for the 2016 season, picking up Joeckel could be an investment for the future.