Chief Concerns: Desmond Bailey
Prospect Name: D.J. Fluker
Projected Round: late 1st – mid 2nd
- Second-Team All-American (2012)
- First-Team All-SEC (2012)
- Allowed just 4 sacks (2012)
- 98.6% execution of his assignments on 728 snaps (2012)
- 35 career starts
- Powerful…an absolute mauler in the running game…engulfs (and maybe even digests?) defenders
- Covers ground quickly to set against the outside edge rush in pass protection
- Immensely massive frame at 355lbs but surprisingly well built for that size
- Long arms enable him to compensate when initially beaten by using a last second jolt against speed rushers to buy the QB more time
- Immune to the bullrush…gets anchored quickly and becomes immovable
- Has the upper body strength to control larger d-linemen at the line of scrimmage and re-direct them away from the play
- Excels at crashing down the line on inside runs and caving in strongside defenders
- Sluggish at times when needing to reach the second level on screens and stretch runs
- Often susceptible to speed rushers who go inside after an initial outside move
- Not as consistent a finisher for his size …should be driving guys into the stands
- Lacks the lateral quickness to consistently re-adjust against double moves
- Has some lingering groin and calf injuries that have bothered him throughout his career at Bama and kept him from showcasing his skills during Senior Bowl week.
Though Fluker anchored the right tackle position for ‘Bama his entire career, some will project him as a guard in the NFL where his size and strength are of greater benefit and his lack of elite athletic ability can be masked. However, sticking him at guard could limit some teams schematically, especially those that require their guards pull often.
Fluker tipped the scales at 355-pounds at Senior Bowl weigh-ins but should seek to get his weight down to around 335 by April. At that weight he could offer teams more versatility as well as show NFL personnel he possesses the discipline and desire to control his weight and help a team at a couple of different positions.
Fluker definitely has the ability to excel as a right tackle in the NFL, especially in a balanced offense that utilizes a power-run scheme. He also has the potential to be another Carl Nicks (6-foot-5, 350 pounds) – mauler offensive tackle in college turned all-pro guard in the NFL.