Grading The Chargers 2013 Draft
Dec 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive tackle D.J. Fluker (76) exchanges words with Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Frank Zombo (51) during the overtime period at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
DJ Fluker / Right Tackle / 1st Round / Pick #11:
Not many people jumped for joy when we selected a right tackle in the first round. Most Charger fans had their eyes set on a left tackle. Due to a lack of first round quarterbacks, teams that picked above us quickly swooped up all of the top tackles. Picking a lesser left tackle would have been a complete reach at pick #11. So, Telesco chose DJ Fluker from Alabama. I suppose if you are going to go right tackle in the first round, it might as well be one of Nick Saben’s guys, right?
DJ Fluker came in as the immediate starter, after former right tackle Jeromey Clary was moved to guard, and never looked back. The only time Fluker was relieved of his duties at right tackle was for a concussion, and to switch to left tackle, when three different Chargers went down to injury at the position. He struggled a little bit with speed rushers, but performed much better than predicted in pass protection. In the run game, Fluker was just plain nasty. The fact that he is quickly becoming a team leader makes Fluker even more valuable. When I look at the tackles that were taken before Fluker, I wouldn’t trade Fluker for any of them. Hindsight is 20/20, and I’m calling this pick a success for Tom Telesco’s first draft move.