Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 1/11 - D. J. Fluker, T, 6-5, 334, Alabama...With Philip Rivers getting sacked 49 times last year, it was clear the Chargers had to beef up their line. When unable to get one of the top three left tackles, they turned their attention to this road grader who was part of three national title teams. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I never limit my abilities. I can play anywhere - right tackle, right guard, left guard, left tackle. It don't matter. The sky is the limit." - Right tackle D.J. Fluker, the Chargers' first pick, on where he will fit in with the Chargers. - The Sports Xchange
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Draft Scout *D.J. Fluker News
04/29/13 - A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 1/11 - D. J. Fluker, T, 6-5, 334, Alabama...With Philip Rivers getting sacked 49 times last year, it was clear the Chargers had to beef up their line. When unable to get one of the top three left tackles, they turned their attention to this road grader who was part of three national title teams. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I never limit my abilities. I can play anywhere - right tackle, right guard, left guard, left tackle. It don't matter. The sky is the limit." - Right tackle D.J. Fluker, the Chargers' first pick, on where he will fit in with the Chargers. - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - Chargers expect Fluker to improve line...The Chargers are hoping Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker helps set the foundation for an improved future, after missing the playoffs three straight seasons. "We thought, as far as a tackle, he can be one of our cornerstones moving forward on the offensive line," general manager Tom Telesco said. "We were looking to add some help there. D.J. is going to be a great fit for us both in the run game and pass game." The 6-5, 339-pound Fluker played right tackle for Alabama, a big part of three national championship teams from the past four years. But it was his motor, as much as his massive frame, that got Telesco's attention. "No. 1, other than his rare size, the thing that jumps out the most about him is the energy he plays with on the football field," Telesco said. "He just loves to play the game. He loves to practice. He loves to play. "It's very rare to see big men - big tackles - have as much energy and passion on the field as he does. That jumps out at you." - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - Among the reasons the rookie Telesco, 40, was executing his first pick, is because A.J. Smith, his predecessor, struggled building the team through the draft. Smith spent heavily in the free-agent market last offseason to counter his drafting mistakes, and it was a disaster with the Chargers finishing 7-9. That cost Smith, and coach Norv Turner, their jobs. So in comes Telesco, and new head coach Mike McCoy, to set the course. And for years, Fluker will be linked to them as the duo's first pick in what the Chargers are hoping is the start of a winning era.
The Chargers needed a left tackle after investing in, but eventually releasing Jared Gaither. Just their luck, the Chiefs sought a left tackle, too, and at No. 1 overall, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher was gone. Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, another top left tackle, soon followed at No.2 to Jacksonville. So if the Chargers were to fill their biggest need, they would be forced to do so with their third-rated player at that position. And that was only if Oklahoma's Lane Johnson was still on the board at No. 11. Johnson wasn't even there at No. 5. - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - So with Fisher, Joeckel and Johnson gone, the Chargers had to decide whether to fill other needs, or stay focused on making the edges of their offensive line better. Fluker is thought to better opening lanes than protecting passers, but Telesco said he can do both well. "He's going to help us both obviously in the run game and pass game," Telesco said. "He's an outstanding run blocker. He's powerful. He's also got good feet to move in space and to block in space. We think he can protect our right side pretty well in pass protection."
They also had their eye on North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper. The interior line took a big hit this offseason as right guard Louis Vasquez fled as a free agent to Denver and Tyronne Green wasn't pursued after reaching free agency. But Telesco was determined to upgrade right tackle, where the team must now decide what to do with incumbent Jeromey Clary. Telesco said he got no offers for his first-round pick and wasn't interested in peddling it when Fluker remained on the board. "Once D.J. was there," Telesco said, "we got the pick in as soon as we could." - The Sports Xchange
04/25/13 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 37. OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama (6-5, 339, 4JR)...While there are concerns that he lacks the fluidity to stay on the edges in the NFL, Fluker has the base, length and power to dominate defenders when in position. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com