lost 2013 No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel
for most of his rookie year to an ankle injury. (Tom Gannam/AP)
The Jacksonville Jaguars put together a strong 2014 draft class and they appear to be a rapidly improving team, heading in the right direction. But they will also need to count on last year's first-round pick, Luke Joeckel.
Joeckel's rookie campaign came to an abrupt end when he suffered a broken ankle after just five weeks, but he is looking to move past that and come back stronger than ever this season.
“It’s done,” Joeckel said, via the Florida Times-Union. “I’m trying to throw it out of my mind. I’ve just got to play football now at a fast and strong level. I can’t think of myself as an injured, pathetic guy.”
The biggest key for Joeckel will be to get back into playing shape and to build confidence in his surgically repaired ankle, which is something that he has been able to do following the team's OTAs and minicamps.
“I was pleased with how my ankle held up,” Joeckel said. “This week was very important to me. I didn’t know how it would be pushing off and going against another guy. I felt like I was moving really well. Overall, I thought it was a good first week, even if I had no injury.
“I had no problems at all this week. It felt good. Hopefully, we can keep increasing it until I can take every rep.”
Joeckel was the No. 2 overall pick when the Jaguars selected him out of Texas A&M in 2013, so if his ankle holds up and he can come back this season playing at a high level he will be able to help out the team as it begins its climb out of the AFC South cellar.