Apr 27, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers first round draft pick D.J. Fluker is introduced the media during a press conference at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers Draft: The Desperate Meets The Nasty One…


…this is what first came to my mind when General Manager Tom Telesco made his first pick in this year´s NFL draft.

Because the worst scenario for the San Diego Chargers became reality: the top five offensive linemen had been selected within the top ten. With all that talk by Telesco about “picking the best player available” and “anything is possible” (trading up, trading down), I was convinced that he´d either pick the No. 1 rated nose tackle, Star Lotulelei, or maybe safety Kenny Vaccaro or he´d decide to trade down. Well, at least thats what I´ve been hoping for. But after the Tennessee Titans picked stud guard Chance Warmack, I remembered all that D.J. Fluker praise by Mike Mayock in the days before the draft. And without wasting ANY time, the Chargers did it; they sealed the deal and made that mountain of a man out of Alabama, D.J. Fluker, the first round selection of the San Diego Chargers in 2013. Guys, I can tell you, I wasn´t amused by that move. So, you get the idea behind my headline? With that unprecedented run on offensive lineman, it looked like our General Manager got the jitters and desperately pulled the trigger on the fourth best rated tackle of this year´s draft class.

Now that the dust has settled and I had some days to think about it, I´ve to admit I changed my mind about the “nasty” right tackle. Although I´m still convinced that D.J. Fluker wasn´t the best player available, it probably made sense to go for that reach and pick at No. 11.

Fluker is a very powerful and physical run blocker and will do fine in a man-blocking scheme. But he has his problems in pass protection and may struggle with speed-rushers and he doesn´t seem to be a good fit for a zone-blocking scheme – something the Chargers´ new offensive line coach and “zone blocking specialist” Joe D’Alessandris may consider to establish here in San Diego. But the new Chargers´ brass obviously had him on the list of considerable first round selections right away, as they didn´t waste a minute to get that pick in. I was “a little bit” upset (to say least – if you follow me on twitter, you know what I´m talking about) that they didn´t even wait for a possible call from a potential trade partner. And of course I still think that guy named Star Lotulelei would´ve been the better value pick. He has great size (6´4”, 320 pounds), great functional strength, is very quick and can play essentially anywhere along the D-Line. He would have been a terrific run stopper and an immovable object in the Chargers´ 3-4 defensive scheme. So instead of picking the best defensive lineman available, the Chargers reached for the sixth best offensive lineman at 11…*head scratch*.

But whatever, I settled down a bit after I watched the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears going after OG/OT Justin Pugh at No. 19 and OT/OG Kyle Long at No. 20 respectively. Another big reach was made by the Dallas Cowboys; they drafted center Frederick Travis at position 31. These relatively high picks on (in my opinion) second round talents made me feel a little better about our selection at No. 11. It was an extraordinary run on offensive linemen to say the least – nine O-Liners went in the first round, with three of them in the top four…ugh!

So, to look at it positive: With the selection of D.J. Fluker we upgraded the right tackle position and added depth at guard (fan favorite Jeromey Clary). To say it again – I´m sure Star Lotulelei would´ve looked good in a Chargers uniform, but after all I´m fine with the addition of the “Ray Lewis of the offensive line” (at least that´s what he wants to be). And you gotta give him that: he has a leadership mentality and is motivated as hell! This hopefully covers up his inability to speak to the media…or speak english at all! Those who listened to some or at least one interview of him, know what I´m talking about.

So, this is it – my first piece here on boltbeat.com; quick and dirty. I hope I´ll be able to entertain you guys, because that´s what we´re here for I guess (correct me if I´m wrong Ernie…lol).

Thank you for reading!

BoltnRoll!

Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • http://twitter.com/tioarturo2000 Arturo De La Vega

    Functional Strength? Did you arm wrestle the guy? Weak effort, very weak effort.

  • tubbs45

    MC Bolt great read! I have gone down the same thinking process!

    • MC Boltman

      Thank you very much for your nice reply! Yeah, this pick was a little shocker at first, but now I´m fine with it. Thx!

  • Cgoodness13

    Imagine if fluker had played LT in college? He would have probally been the 2nd LT taken in the draft.

  • zeus619

    Heard something during draft that last time we took an OLineman in first round was in 1968. I’d say its about time we drafted one. DJ is a massive tackle with good athletism for his size. He’s also been compared to Vikes beast RT, Phil Loadholt. He’ll step in right away and help restructure our OL. Would also have liked the Star pick but this is also a good selection. Nice job Bolts.

    • Julien Bélair

      and I really really love his attitude! it’s refreshing to hear one of our o-line speaks and play with so much passion

  • Lee

    the combination of the need at offensive line and the fact that all other top prospects were gone made fluker the best player available for our team needs. i know vaccaro and louteleli blah blah. but the fact that our o-line is so poor and our QB has such great potential to take this team deep into the playoffs makes fluker the best option for us

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

      I agree. I am a heavy duty Rivers fan and it was so reassuring that TT went and picked somebody for our o-line… helping to keep Rivers alive.

      • Julien Bélair

        Rivers is the man

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Williams/100000133832854 Ryan Williams

    I also was disgusted with this pick at first, I literally yelled at the tv!! It was mailnly because of what I had read about him in the weeks leading up to the draft, but after hearing TT speak on his behalf,watching sum video of him and than seeing his enthusism…..I completely changed my mind!! I trust in Telesco and his scouting abilities!! were not gonna hit on every pick but I like the dudes way of thinking Bolt Up Chargers fans and godd luck DJ, I hope u have a gr8 career!!!

    • MC Boltman

      Oh yeah, absolutely. I got trust in Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy too. And I agree, his enthusiasm is awesome. I think he´ll do well in San Diego. #boltup

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

    Great article. Interesting and well-written. Learned a lot.

    • MC Boltman

      Wow thank you! Great u like it. And learning something new can´t be bad either :) Thx!

  • Pels04

    This article sums up how i feel EXACTLY. Its almost kinda scary…….

    • MC Boltman

      Haha…I see we both went through the same roller coaster of feelings last days :) If Telesco is able to find a solution at LT in FA – at least for 2013 – then then this pick was pretty solid IMO.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    Good article MC! I kinda like the way he talks… brings a little bit of durty souf to our team… lol.

    • MC Boltman

      Hey thanks very much! And yeah let that big man bring that little “durty souf” into Chargers town…haha

  • OPBolt

    MC – Fluker has 4 years experience operating in a zone blocking scheme. Please read: http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/01/inside_zone_the_inside_story_a.html
    and his selection may make you feel better about him and the competence of the scouting/coaching/management staff.