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D.J. Fluker: How Will San Diego's Newest RT Fare in the Pros?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  D.J. Fluker of the Alabama Crimson Tide holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked #11 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IApril 26, 2013

 D.J. Fluker is the most physically imposing mauler in this entire draft. Some may question his ability pass protect, pointing to his limited foot-speed, but this facet of his game seems to be somewhat overstated in the negative.

According to news stream from CBSsports.com:

 

Fluker has made 35 starts in his career, including all 13 games this season at right tackle. Through the regular season, he graded out at 98.3 percent, missing just 11 assignments in 653 plays. Fluker is second on the team in pancake blocks with 30 and allowed only four sacks from his position in 266 pass attempts. - Alabama football

Pro Outlook



Expect Fluker to continue his mauling ways for the San Diego Chargers for years to come. He may not be the quickest or the most athletic guy at his position but his incredibly long arms (37 inches) help make up for what he lacks in those categories.

The additional value in a guy like Fluker comes with his ability to set a physical tone on offense. This element can assist in bending the will of the defense over the course of a 60-minute game.

His ceiling is somewhat limited in regards to athleticism but his upside is high in effort and character. This is an extremely competitive prospect that should provide a welcomed presence in the locker room as his mean streak on the field does not bleed into his off-the-field persona.

D.J has Pro Bowl potential in the NFL and should be a good puzzle piece as the chargers look to reestablish their identity. Bringing in a guy like Fluker speaks volumes about the direction they’re looking to move in.  



Roster Outlook



Early projections should have free agent acquisition King Dunlop playing the left tackle position while their other big OL addition Chad Rinehart should solidify one of the guard spots. This leaves Fluker to occupy the right tackle position at least for the next few years. He should come in and start from day-1.

If for some reason he fails to hold up at tackle, they Chargers always have the luxury of turning him into a one of the best guards in the NFL.

Pick Analysis



This is one of the better value picks in the entire first round. Fluker is a tone-setting bully who will provide a much needed attitude adjustment to the Chargers’ culture of underachieving.

When it comes to impact on a game, Fluker has the highest impact potential of any offensive lineman in the draft.

 

Grade: B+

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