…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!
Tags: San Diego Chargers