October 13, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive linesman Cyrus Kouandjio (71) and offensive linesman D.J. Fluker (76) and offensive linesman Chance Warmack (65) talk during the first half at Faurot Field. Alabama won 42-10. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers, D.J. Fluker, Right Tackle (Round One)

The San Diego Chargers select right-tackle, Alabama: D.J. Fluker.  It’s not a finesse pick, nor a pretty pick, but a very powerful and thick pick. Fluker is one mean-moose and a scary street-fighter (type).  General Manager, Tom Telesco did not have the opportunity to draft the one top three left offensive tackles, or top two offensive guards (as they were already gone), but they did get the top right tackle prospect, with the ability to play three total positions (LG, RG, RT).

Fluker is one of the most intimidating offensive linemen in this draft and his physical traits, tangibles and tools have him upgrading the Chargers offensive line immediately.  Six foot, 5 inches tall, 340 pound, with longest arm length in the draft at 36 3/4″ (2 ½” longer than Luke Joeckel & 2 ¼ “ longer than Fisher), he is a beast. Within this game (of fractions of a second), 2″ could mean the instant security for any quarterback. Massive tackles like Fluker do not usually come with the effort and explosiveness that is natural for him. Fluker is an energy player, which is rare for guys his size and he does not take plays off. Every play his total effort. Constantly moving, diving, digging, scratching, clawing and clamping is his specialty. And with adapting within the Chargers new hybrid-power/zone blocking-scheme, the Chargers are very excited about the selection.

Fluker has been a starting power blocker for the University of Alabama for the last 3 years, road-grading easy-streets for the likes of running backs Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddy Lacey. Designed to destroy, Fluker will be a quarterbacks front side protector and running backs best friend (as Ryan Matthews is probably the most excited about the addition).

Some scouts can project Fluker as a left tackle project based on measurable alone, or he can become an all-pro right tackle, either way, he is an upgrade for the Chargers offensive line and we will leave it to the Chargers coaching staff to figure out his best position. With the way the dice rolled in this draft, it was an exemplary and “no-brainer” selecting D.J. Fluker for Tom Telesco. Grade: B+ (based on team need)

DAY TWO PREDICTIONS (rounds 2 and 3):

Second Round:Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue or Sam Montgomery, OLB/DE, LSU

Third Round: Brandon William, NT Missouri Southern State or Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff or Brian Schwenke, C/OG, Cal

(*More and more quality NFL draft prospects are falling in this draft. If additional first round graded draftees continue to fall, expect Telesco to snatch up the best player available vs. team need)

NOTE: With the addition of DJ Fluker, San Diego could cut current right tackle starter Jeremy Clary and save approximately $2.3 million in salary cap savings (and potentially find a new veteran left tackle with that money).

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Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Alabama DJ Fluker San Diego Chargers

  • Aaron

    Very interested to see how this “mountain” progresses and plays for us. Anxiously awaiting our 2nd and 3rd round picks!!

  • FitzWilly

    fingers crossed that Clary is sent packing

    • jamfed

      Clary is an underrated scraper, and gets a bad-wrap in SD. I think he’d be a great guard, but he’s making way too much money and he’s not elite. I’d grade Clary a C-, but i’d grade Fluker an A- (possible pro-bowl replacement).

      Fluker is a power blocking right tackle. If SD does change to zone blocking, DJ might be even better…

      • FitzWilly

        I don’t disagree about his toughness and moving him to guard
        But as a tackle he had cement boots, and was always getting beaten like a rented Mule

        • Julien Bélair

          Fluker will be a huge upgrade

          • boltingindiego

            hes talkin about the matador clary

    • Nick in PB

      Yes… I forgot about replacing Clary!!!! Good move.

  • 619chargers4life

    it wasnt the most sexiest pick but if u look at the glass half full, as projected RT’s go he was on the top of that list. a very sound, solid and safe pick

  • davacho

    good article- i can bitch about the pick or i can accept it and root for the guy… going for the latter. : )

    • jamfed

      A lot fans did not want to see the Chargers draft Fluker, but I actually defended him the rumors, for about a month. I stressed that he might not be the TOP 5 O-linemen, but he will still be a massive upgrade in San Diego. Whatever happens with Warmack and Cooper, neither could play tackle, but Fluker can play guard.
      He’ll be an upgrade, which is nice…

      • davacho

        the problem is, pugh, watson and armstead all would have been upgrades to our offensive line. and 2 of those guys are till available day 2. what’s done is done- i support mgmt and am excited for next rounds. : )

  • Nick in PB

    I’ve been trying to find the silver lining with this pick. Watching the draft progress was excruciating!!!Watching all the LT’s go in the first 4 picks, then Cooper, then Warmack, UGH!!!! Watching all the teams before us trade back with the teams we targeted as traded back with UGH! What we got was a really good football player. Big and nasty. Loves to play the game and has the attitude and energy you want on the team. Let’s face it, we weren’t inn a great position for THIS draft at 11. We didn’t have the resources or extra picks to negotiate trades without effecting the rest of the draft. Offensive line was our biggest need and we just added a really big guy to that need. I’m OK with it. Can’t wait to see what we do the rest of the way!

  • RussinSactown

    Clary earned his bad rap in SD by being an open door.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    We were close on moving up to the Raiders’ Number 3 spot. I mean, Raiders gave up the number 3 spot to Miami for Miami’s first round which was 12 I believe (ours was 11) and their 42nd. Ours was 45. That was a cheap trade up if we could have landed Lane Johnson. It is totally possible, though, that the Raiders would not consider a trade with us. If they had done it, the Raider fans would have likely been in front of the Raiders’ offices with torches lit and yelling at Reggie. “We know you’re in there!!”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    How long does everyone think Armstead will be around? He would be a good one for us.

    • FitzWilly

      prolly won’t make it past Detroit

  • Rob Base

    Like I said it was a reach. I’m still evaluating the move a million times in my head. I had an expectation and it wasnt met so now im resentful. Hopefully I’m fricken WOWED with 2nd and 3rd pick.

  • FitzWilly

    I’ll go with Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

    A little raw and needs some work, but do all the remaining OT’s

    if not Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    We pretty much have the 13th pick of the second round, We need a run on QB’s, DE’s, RB’s and there are a grip of WR’s left too. How about this:

    33. Jags: Matt Barkley QB

    34: Niners: John Jenkins DT

    35: Eagles: Geno Smith QB

    36: Lions: Robert Woods WR

    37: Bengals: Eddie Lacy RB

    38: Cards: Gio Bernard RB

    39: Jets: Tank Carredine DE

    40: Titans: Damontre Moore DE

    41: Bills: Keenan Allen WR

    42: Oak via trade: Manti Te’o LB

    43: Bucs: Margus Hunt DE

    44: Panthers: Johnathen Banks CB

    45: Bolts: Watson or Armstead or Cyprien

    It really could happen that one or both OT’s are there when we pick, there’s a ton of great players for the teams above us to pick for their needs.

  • Nate

    Jamar Taylor or Armstead

  • jamfed

    Here’s my top ten big board for round TWO:
    1Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
    2Cornellius Carradine, DE/OLB, Florida State
    3Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
    4Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
    5Sam Montgomery, OLB/DE, LSU
    6Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
    7Alex Okafor, 34OLB/DE, Texas
    8Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
    9Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
    10Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

    • davacho

      what do you think about arthur brown?