2013 NFL Draft Big Board: Offensive tackles

Luke Joeckel - Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue looking at the 2013 NFL Draft in a variety, let's use Mel Kiper's rankings and see who might be available for the Giants at what you might consider positions of need.

While Jesse works his way through our series of 2013 NFL Draft prospect profiles, I thought we would look even deeper at the 2013 NFL Draft class. What we begin today is a 'Big Board' type series. We will identify what might be considered positions of need for the New York Giants -- though we know 'value' and not 'need' is generally the priority in Giants' drafts -- and look at Mel Kiper's top 5 players at those positions.

We will begin with a look at Kiper's top 5 offensive tackles. It is possible that the Giants replace David Diehl at right tackle next season, whether they draft for that replacement or not. Left tackle Will Beatty is also an unrestricted free agent.

Here are Kiper's top 5:

RANK NAME SCHOOL HT WT
1 Luke Joeckel Texas A&M 6-6 310
2 Eric Fisher Central Michigan 6-8 305
3 Lane Johnson Oklahoma 6-7 303
4 Justin Pugh Syracuse 6-6 292
5 D.J. Fluker Alabama 6-6 335

This was his take on the group, post-Senior Bowl:

This is a really good class at the top, and Joeckel could challenge to be the first player taken overall. Nobody even knew who Fisher was when the season started, but he should go in the first round come April. Joeckel is the clear standout among this group. Johnson has moved up on my Board recently. Pugh made a move up this week.

[Mocking The Draft Offensive Tackle Rankings]

Scouting Reports

Luke Joeckel

Jesse says: "Joeckel is a very good athlete with long arms who is a top pass protector in the NFL. Joeckel plays about as fundamentally sound as you'll ever see a college prospect, avoiding the pitfalls of playing too high and reaching at defensive linemen. He has the mobility to be an effective blocker out in space."

CBS Sports says: "Joeckel boasts a combination of size, strength and athleticism that will one day result in All-Pro status."

[Big Blue View 2013 NFL Draft Big Board]

Eric Fisher

Jesse says: "Fisher looked like a perfect match for the Giants (if they don't re-sign Will Beatty) prior to the draft process, but he has been very impressive at the Senior Bowl and is going to remove any concerns about his competition level. Being the second-best tackle in this class he might no longer be available when the Giants pick at No. 19."

CBS Sports says: "Everything from his footwork to his hand placement to his explosiveness out of the snap is solid. He won't last past the 15th pick in the draft."

Lane Johnson

Jesse says: "Johnson has the length and athleticism that NFL teams desire in prospects and which is why he'll be an early-round selection. Johnson has been considered a mid-first round to early second round pick for months, so anything you hear about him being a combine riser is misleading. This guy is well regarded and should come off the board early."

Mocking The Draft says: "Lane Johnson is one of the best offensive tackles available in the 2013 NFL Draft. His awareness jumps out when watching him play. Athleticism and short area quickness won't be an issue for Johnson. He's going to come off the board at some point in the first round and have a steady career in the NFL."

Justin Pugh

CBS Sports says: "His best position is probably inside at guard. He has the mobility and body control to protect the edge, but he has suspect core strength and struggles to properly use his hands to control rushers at the point of attack. Pugh also lacks the length (31.5" arms) and growth potential to convince NFL teams he can stay at left tackle."

D.J. Fluker

Jesse says: "With the way the right tackles played for the Giants last year. ANY right tackle prospect fits with the Giants. I think Fluker is going to be a solid, but not great pass protector at right tackle. Most defenses line up their stronger, less athletic defensive end up against the right tackle. Those players are going to struggle getting around Fluker's insane wing span and strong upper body."

CBS Sports says: "At 6-6, 335 pounds, however, Fluker is an absolute road-grader, himself. Massive, physical and tenacious, he's the top right tackle prospect in the draft."

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