2013: D.J. Fluker, Tackle, 11th overall pick
The very first draft pick that Tom Telesco made as the general manager of the LA Chargers was selecting Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker with the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Back then, we could have been hopeful that this would become a trend for the Bolts.
RELATED: Ranking all of Tom Telesco’s drafts
It has not been. The Chargers have not picked an offensive lineman in the first round since 2013. And while the team has landed some really solid players in the first round, it is now time to dip back into the offensive lineman pool.
Fluker was fine as a member of the Chargers and ironically might be the best-ever first-round offensive lineman that the team drafted. Lachey is obviously the most talented and decorated, but his early departure leaves a sour taste.
Fluker spent four seasons with the Chargers and started every single game he appeared in. He began his career as the team’s right tackle before moving to right guard, a trend that would continue with the Giants, Seahawks and Ravens.
Fluker’s best season was his rookie season and he did fall off a bit after that but he is still good enough to carve out a nine-year career to this point, mostly as a starter.
The Chargers made the right pick as well. Justin Pugh was the next tackle taken and has had a very similar career and while Kyle Long was also taken the first round the team would not have taken a guard that early in the draft.
It was a good pick, that draft class just was not deep in tackle talent. Hopefully, Telesco’s second first-round offensive lineman picked can be better than his first.