Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Rams need a right tackle badly. Could DJ Fluker be their man?
DJ Fluker, along with Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack, was an integral part of the offensive line that lead the Crimson Tide to the last two National Championships. He is seen as a much better run blocker than pass blocker, and some wonder if he should be kicked inside to guard in the NFL. I can see where people are coming from with that thinking, but I see Fluker as a right tackle in the NFL, and a very good one at that.
- Tremendous mauler. Great lower body strength allows him to easy move his man where he wants.
- Strong hands and long arms. If Fluker gets his hands locked on to his target in pass protection, it's over. He's won.
- Has great tenacity. High effort player.
- Can get low to cut block.
- 6' 5", 335lbs, 36.5" arms and 10.5" hands. Ideal numbers across the board.
- Heavy, sloppy feet. He's not very quick and his footwork leaves a lot to be desired. Speed rushers with a good move can instantly blow by him sometimes. His long arms usually allow him to widen the pass rushers path and let the QB step up in the pocket.
- Shows below average technique in both pass blocking and run blocking. In college, a linemen like Fluker can depend on his long arms and pure strength to win. In the NFL, linemen need to have great technique as well. This can be coached up, but Fluker will be a little behind.
- Lacks recovery speed.
- Struggles to mirror pass rushers in space due to both poor technique and an overall lack of quickness.
Fluker may lack technique, but his talent is tremendous. Some want to move him inside to guard and for good reason. He will struggle with speed rushers in the NFL, but with improved hands and feet, he can become decent against them. When he gets his hands on the rusher, he instantly stops them. See his game against LSU last season. He shut down Barkevious Mingo by using his hands extremely well. He is almost impossible to bull rush.
I think DJ Fluker could be a top RT in the NFL, and with the overall lack of talent at that position, it could be really soon. I compare him to the ex-Cowboy great Flozell Adams. I have a mid to low first round grade on him and I think he would be a tremendous addition to the St. Louis Rams offensive line.
Some may not like the idea of selecting a RT in the first round, but with the new rookie wage scale allowing granting teams cheep, young labor and the growing number of pass rushers that rush exclusively from the left side, the value makes perfect sense.