Found July 10, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
In this year’s NFL draft, the San Diego Chargers selected right tackle D.J. Fluker from the University of Alabama with the 11th pick overall.  The 22 year old from Louisiana was selected to help with the miserable offensive line the Bolts had last season.  The Chargers gave up the 4th most sacks of any team in the NFL and were tied for the 2nd worst yards per carry average. Fluker was brought in to become an immediate starter for this offensive line and will be expected to start from Week 1.  Here is a brief breakdown of what Fluker will bring to the Charger organization this season and throughout his career. Run Blocking The 6’5”, 339 lbs. Fluker is a run-blocking machine.  His size and strength make him pretty much immovable and he can create running lanes by collapsing edges.  He also has the ability to get to linebackers and hold blocks because of his individual strength.  He should come into San Diego and make an immediate impact in the rushing game.  Ryan Matthews should readily look to run along the right side, as Fluker will become an excellent blocker to give him room to run.  It may take Fluker a few weeks to get adjusted to the speed of the NFL, but there is no doubt he will become the best run blocker for the Bolts this year (although that’s not saying much). Pass Blocking Fluker will definitely help the Charger line in the protection of Philip Rivers, but mainly due to the fact the Jeromey Clary is a terrible RT.  Clary has always been a liability in the tackle position, so the fact that Fluker isn’t Clary is an immediate plus.  Fluker also is strong and will be able to win many one on one battles with pass rushers. Another bonus is that he can get low and cut block, which will help for quick passes (Philip Rivers’ favorite type of pass).  However, Fluker does have some problems with his pass blocking.  First, quicker players can sometimes avoid him altogether if they read his block.  Fast outside linebackers will be able to burn Fluker and put pressure on Rivers quickly in blitz schemes.  He also doesn’t hold his blocks as long as an elite lineman does, so if Rivers is struggling to find an open receiver, a pass rusher may be able to break away from him and get to the quarterback.  Fluker will not be a pass blocking stud to start off his career, and may not be much improved by the end of the season, but he should eventually become a solid pass blocker and dominant tackle. D.J. Fluker (Photo by Gregory Bull) Intangibles This category doesn’t have to do with skill exactly but it is still important in terms of predicting a player’s outcome in the NFL.  For example, many Charger fans remember Ryan Leaf and his disastrous career.  A bad attitude on a player can cause them to become a bust, even if the talent is there.  Luckily for the Bolts, Fluker is no Ryan Leaf.  Early reports from the Chargers have described Fluker as hard working, ready to play, and even a leader. Fullback Le’Ron McClain stated to the press that Fluker gets “everybody riled up for practice.”  A player with this type of attitude is a great first round pick to not only set an example for the rookies, but also for the whole team. Fluker will become an important piece on the Chargers line for years to come.  In the next few seasons, the Bolts will look to add more young players to this unit, and Fluker will be the leader.  He will be productive from the first time he steps onto the field, and is the official signal of the Chargers’ changing of the guard (or tackle). Related Articles San Diego Chargers: How good will Dwight Freeney be? San Diego Chargers: A look at this year’s defense
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

San Diego Chargers: The future of Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates Antonio Gates was perhaps the greatest steal in San Diego Charger history.  An undrafted free agent from Kent State, he has played 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Chargers.  The tight end has been selected to 8 Pro Bowls and leads the Chargers in all time receptions with 642.  Gates ranks second all-time with touchdowns by a tight end, only behind Tony Gonzalez...

San Diego Chargers: QB Philip Rivers Deteriorating

Once heralded as one of the league’s best quarterbacks, Philip Rivers would be lucky to still be in the top ten quarterbacks on most lists.But it is tough to tell if the 2012 season was more of a fluke or the start of a decline for the 31-year-old quarterback. ESPN Analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski described Rivers’ play as "deteriorating", which would indicate...

What To Make Of The Chargers' Offense, Pt. 3: The Ryan Mathews Band

Welcome, one and all, to part three of my four part journey through the Chargers’ offense.If you’re new to the series, take a look at parts one (offensive line) and two (Philip Rivers). They’re not integral to understanding today’s offering, but I’d like to think they’re worthy of a read.For those that are green to the series, just commit one theme to memory before moving...

Why Ryan Mathews Will Continue To Take a Dive in 2013

In 2011, it looked like Ryan Mathews was well on his way to becoming an NFL star in San Diego.The former Fresno State running back grew up a Chargers fan, idolizing LaDainian Tomlinson so much, that he wore No. 21 in college.While there was no chance of Mathews wearing the same number in the pros, there has been hope by the Chargers organization that he would emulate some of the...
Chargers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.