The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock. As of right now, the Chiefs have the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday at 7:00 p.m. CDT. Kansas City, if they retain that pick, must decide whom they will select. It is common belief the Chiefs will choose to go with a left tackle, either Luke Joeckel out of Texas A&M, or Eric Fisher from Central Michigan.
Eric Fisher is a big man at 6’7″, 306 pounds. This past season he was named First Team All-Mac and started all 12 games at left tackle for Central Michigan. He is known for his size, flexibility, and quickness. He has entered the discussion as a possible first overall pick for the Chiefs after a strong Senior Bowl performance and great showing in the NFL Combine.
NFL.com had this to say in their scouting report about Fisher:
The top left tackle prospect of the senior class, Fisher opened scouts eyes with his pro-caliber frame and eye-popping agility in the open field, which he should be able to maintain while working in an NFL strength program. Among all other players, Fisher benefited the most when two top junior tackle prospects decided to return for their senior season. With a solid performance during the Senior Bowl, Fisher could solidify his evaluation as a top-15 pick.
They compare him to fellow Central Michigan Chippewa Joe Staley. If Fisher can match Staley’s NFL career, whatever team that selects him Thursday, be it the Chiefs or someone else, will be thrilled.
CBSsports.com liked his coordination among other aspects of his game.
STRENGTHS: Fisher is a fiery competitor and plays with more pop than expected, delivering power in the run game. But he looks comfortable in pass protection and has worked hard to improve his technique and instincts at the position. Proved more than capable of handling the “jump” in competition in Mobile, establishing himself as the elite prospect at any position to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite upper- and lower-body strength. When he was beaten during Senior Bowl practices it was normally by bull rushers able to get into his pads and drive him backward. Naturally because of his height, Fisher will allow his pads to rise at times and can be walked backwards because he doesn’t have a stout anchor. Didn’t face many NFL-caliber pass rushers while at Central Michigan.
CBSSports worried that his great height will allow some of the powerful, shorter pass rusher to get underneath his protection.
walterfootball.com love Fisher almost as much as Luke Joeckel. They list 16 strengths for Fisher, including pass protection, flexibility in both man- and zone-blocking schemes, that he is fast with his drops, and has the mobility to block on the perimeter. Like Joeckel, Walterfootball only lists 2 glaring weaknesses – needs a bit more strength, and they question his durability because he missed a few games early in his career with Central Michigan.
The fact that Fisher played left tackle in a more traditional offense where he protected a quarterback in the pocket is certainly in his favor over Joeckel, who blocked for quarterbacks who were looking to move around and head up field much of the time. The MAC, although it offers a very good level of football, did not pit Fisher against the type of competition and athletes in which Joeckel faced week in and week out for 3 years. That did not hurt Joe Staley when he entered the NFL but it has to be taken into consideration by the Chiefs. The two lineman are roughly the same size, though Fisher is slightly taller, and they grade out very similarly. Joeckel is probably the safer bet because of his experience in BCS conferences but Fisher played in an offense that more closely resembled an NFL scheme.
If the Chiefs stay at that number one overall pick, it is almost certain they will select one of these two left tackles. Even if they retain the services of Branden Albert, teams cannot have enough talented offensive linemen on their rosters. Even if Kansas City is unable to trade Albert, it is unlikely they will sign him to a long term deal, so grabbing a top tier tackle for the future is a good idea. With either of these tackles, the Chiefs should have the blind side covered for years to come.