Combine Day 1 Notebook: Joeckel And Ertz Lean On Dolphins For Advice; Other Notes

Posted Feb 21, 2013

Texas A&M left tackle and Stanford tight end proud of former teammates.


INDIANAPOLIS – Even though he is commanding more attention here at the NFL Scouting Combine than Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill did last year, Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel feels like he owes his former teammates.

Stanford tight end Zach Ertz holds Dolphins tackler Jonathan Martin in similar regard when it comes to dealing with this draft process. Nothing is more valuable than tapping into experience and that’s precisely what both of these highly rated players are doing.

“(Ryan) was a great quarterback and a great leader for our team and I really, really enjoyed blocking for him,” said Joeckel, who is the considered the best offensive lineman in the upcoming NFL Draft. “He’s a lot different to block for than my quarterback this year (Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel) and I liked that a little bit more. But I talked to him when I was down in Miami for the national championship game and went and had lunch with him. I asked him about the whole agent process and the draft and the Combine and he gave me a lot of tips about that and calmed my nerves. He was really helpful to me.”

For Ertz, he has a pretty large group of former Stanford players to reach out to, including Martin, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Colts tight end Coby Fleener and Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro. They told him to embrace the process and be prepared.

Martin’s transition from left tackle to right tackle went fairly smooth for the Dolphins, and then he moved back over to the left side after Pro Bowler Jake Long suffered a season-ending arm injury and held his own. Ertz was not at all surprised.

“I think making that transition is very mental and I know Jon is very bright,” Ertz said. “I played with him for three years and I knew he could make any transition, so that didn’t surprise me at all.”


In what is sure to be a preview of the type of crowd that should be expected at Manti Te’o’s podium, new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan drew the largest audience. Also, new Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman had a big crowd since he was the first person to talk. … Tomorrow will be the busiest day with quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers talking, and then the on-field workouts begin Saturday with the offensive linemen, tight ends and special teams players.

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