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Old 04-08-2013, 07:28 PM    (permalink
JohnCandy
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Default Fluker on the Rise

Tony Pauline @TonyPauline

Close sources tell me DJ Fluker/T/Alabama is a real possibility for the Miami Dolphins with the 12th pick...more later..
4:21 PM - 08 Apr 13

@mortreport: Alabama RT D..J. Fluker is one of true rising players in draft; remember, most teams just began draft meetings in earnest last week @ESPNNFL

@DraftCountdown: I have a feeling #Alabama RT D.J. Fluker is going to be very popular on Draft Day. One of the safest prospects in this class. Range: 12-21
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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Wouldn't surprise me to see him go top 15. He has the chance to be a dominant NFL right tackle, somebody will fall in love with him.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:57 PM    (permalink
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Wouldn't surprise me to see him go top 15. He has the chance to be a dominant NFL right tackle, somebody will fall in love with him.
Hopefully he pushes one of the guards down the board.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:12 PM    (permalink
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Even if he fails as a RT, is there any reason he couldn't be moved to guard? He seems like a safe bet to be a quality starter, and has the talent to be more.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:21 PM    (permalink
TheFinisher
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I love his demeanor and what he brings in the run game, but he's definitively got below average feet and there are legit doubts about his pass pro against speed rushers in the NFL (although his ridiculous wingspan will help). If this was 15 years ago, I could see him going top 12... But not in today's pass happy league.

Reminds me of Erik Williams though and I'd love him on the Cowboys. He'll be an elite mauler whether its at RT or OG.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:33 PM    (permalink
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I love his demeanor and what he brings in the run game, but he's definitively got below average feet and there are legit doubts about his pass pro against speed rushers in the NFL (although his ridiculous wingspan will help). If this was 15 years ago, I could see him going top 12... But not in today's pass happy league.

Reminds me of Erik Williams though and I'd love him on the Cowboys. He'll be an elite mauler whether its at RT or OG.
Williams was one of the better LTs of the 90s. Not sure Fluker is in that league. Both have a mean streak though for sure.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:27 PM    (permalink
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Even if he fails as a RT, is there any reason he couldn't be moved to guard? He seems like a safe bet to be a quality starter, and has the talent to be more.
I think he can be servicable inside but nothing special. While he can get push in a phone booth he would struggle to attack the second level. While he isn't the worlds worst athlete I can't really see him pulling across the formation or working around the tackle. Its just squat on the pass rush or maul straight foward during running plays, those limitations would limit what type of schemes he could fit in.

At tackle he has the type of length/ size that is hard to get around and he has decent technique to make up for his lack of explosion off the snap. He will have some trouble against the elite athletes that might line up across from them but can dominate when he has the chance to in line block.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:39 PM    (permalink
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I'm not a big fan of Fluker. Aside from his size, bulk, and length, what is there on tape to suggest that he'll be a good NFL player? At this point, I'd be shocked if he were anywhere near as good as a Phil Loadholt. Fluker doesn't really dominate as a run blocker, struggles to sustain blocks, and can't protect the edge with consistency in pass protection. I think he could be oversized for a guard, too.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
I'm not a big fan of Fluker. Aside from his size, bulk, and length, what is there on tape to suggest that he'll be a good NFL player? At this point, I'd be shocked if he were anywhere near as good as a Phil Loadholt. Fluker doesn't really dominate as a run blocker, struggles to sustain blocks, and can't protect the edge with consistency in pass protection. I think he could be oversized for a guard, too.
I share these same thoughts. Fluker is either a right tackle or he won't be able to be a starter in the league. His poor feet worry me more than anything.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:25 PM    (permalink
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I like Fluker, but I don't see him as a fit for Miami. With Tony Sparano sure, but Joe Philibin requires quickness to get to the second level. That's just not Fluker's game.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:41 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
I'm not a big fan of Fluker. Aside from his size, bulk, and length, what is there on tape to suggest that he'll be a good NFL player? At this point, I'd be shocked if he were anywhere near as good as a Phil Loadholt. Fluker doesn't really dominate as a run blocker, struggles to sustain blocks, and can't protect the edge with consistency in pass protection. I think he could be oversized for a guard, too.
He has a real nasty streak in him and he's a team leader.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:29 PM    (permalink
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What is the difference between DJ Fluker and Orlando Franklin and Kelechi Osemele.

Big, rare power, long arms and a nasty attitude.

One of those guys is a very good RT and one is a very good OG.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:50 PM    (permalink
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as a guard hes every bit as impressive as iupati, but he actually can play RT. Wouldnt surprise me one bit if he and warmack are top Guards in the next 3 years...cooper too for that matter
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:23 PM    (permalink
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as a guard hes every bit as impressive as iupati
...say what?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:40 PM    (permalink
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...say what?
Probably even better. Stronger, better leverage, longer arms, better hands placement.

People are really underselling how good Fluker can be at guard. He has the tools to legitimately be the best guard in football. We all know he's phenomenal at moving people off the ball, he's not going to get overpowered at the point and is gonna be able to handle just about anybody inside with that ridiculous length. If there's an interior OL that's in the league currently or coming into the league that's capable of being JJ Watt kryptonite, I think it's him with those 37" arms. I love Warmack but Fluker's upside at guard is as good as it gets.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:03 AM    (permalink
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Tony Pauline @TonyPauline

Close sources tell me DJ Fluker/T/Alabama is a real possibility for the Miami Dolphins with the 12th pick...more later..
4:21 PM - 08 Apr 13

@mortreport: Alabama RT D..J. Fluker is one of true rising players in draft; remember, most teams just began draft meetings in earnest last week @ESPNNFL

@DraftCountdown: I have a feeling #Alabama RT D.J. Fluker is going to be very popular on Draft Day. One of the safest prospects in this class. Range: 12-21
Hmmm... Fluker to Miami... I don't like it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:39 AM    (permalink
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Hmmm... Fluker to Miami... I don't like it.
It almost seems too obvious that they're going to trade up for one of the top 3 left tackles. Big need, extra picks so they can afford to move up. The report about them liking Fluker (in that second tier of tackles) combined with the report that they have questions about Lane Johnson seem like a couple of smokescreens. Or, they actually do want to stand pat at 12 but are interested in a different tackle (Watson?).
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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Tony Pauline @TonyPauline

@DraftCountdown: I have a feeling #Alabama RT D.J. Fluker is going to be very popular on Draft Day. One of the safest prospects in this class. Range: 12-21
I have a feeling that enough time has elapsed for the Aaron Curry mistake to have been forgotten -- now destined to repeat itself.

If you compare him to other OTs taken in that range over the last 5 years, you're going to be left with wondering why he's rated so high. You don't pick a RT whose selling point is, "He might suck enough there that you can make a guard out of him" in round 1.

Some team is going to take him. My money is it'll be a team that perennially sucks and it's due to making dumb draft picks like this. Chicago would be a likely place since they can't draft their way out of a paper bag.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:33 PM    (permalink
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I have a feeling that enough time has elapsed for the Aaron Curry mistake to have been forgotten -- now destined to repeat itself.

If you compare him to other OTs taken in that range over the last 5 years, you're going to be left with wondering why he's rated so high. You don't pick a RT whose selling point is, "He might suck enough there that you can make a guard out of him" in round 1.

Some team is going to take him. My money is it'll be a team that perennially sucks and it's due to making dumb draft picks like this. Chicago would be a likely place since they can't draft their way out of a paper bag.
What was so terrible about Phil Emerys one draft with Chicago?
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:42 PM    (permalink
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I've been putting him at Carolina for a while.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:17 PM    (permalink
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I don't think he has the feet to be great and will likely go somewhere in the 18-32 range IMO.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:10 AM    (permalink
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Do those mammoth arms make up for his footwork though?
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:47 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by nobodyinparticular View Post
Do those mammoth arms make up for his footwork though?
As a guard, yes. His footwork is actually solid. It's just he just has heavy feet. Those heavy feet obviously make him slower vs. speed on the edge but that's also where his strong powerful base/anchor come from. I'd rather have a guy at guard with heavier feet and a strong base than a guy who is light on his feet but also light in the ass. Between his long arms, his anchor, and flexibility, there's no reason he should get caught leaning or lunging which is how a quick DT will typically take advantage of a slow guard. DT's don't really win with a straight speed rush like an outside guy does. It's power first that sets up something else. If that power is negated by Fluker's strength and the DT's inability to get inside his frame because of his arm length, it makes it very difficult to set up anything else.

Oh, did I mention I think Fluker can be a good guard. :P
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:04 AM    (permalink
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Agree with Tackle. You aren't going to set up screens with Fluker swinging out or have him in a zone blocking scheme where he has to move around a lot. Whoever drafts him will send him out there at RT (or guard I guess) and just tell him to maul people out there. Relentless attack is what he will be known for, and he has the strength that once he gets a hold of someone it is all over for that DE/LB.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:08 PM    (permalink
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I think some of you guys are missing the boat on Fluker.

1st thing you need to realize is that he has played the last couple seasons at or over 340, because that's what Alabama required of him.

2nd, he could play LT, but he wasn't required to because of who Bama has had there.... Jones was a multiple year starter and Cyrus Kouandjio is going to be a very high pick next season. I relate this situation to Kalil and Tyron Smith.


Now consider him physically, he is just as athletic as Joeckel (& 30Lbs heavier), he is athletic enough to move with some of the best pass rushers in this draft (watch Mingo,Montgomery,Moore and Jones for reference)... and he also has considerable arm length advantages on all the elite OTs in this draft.

He is a dominant run blocker, go watch him move John Jenkins vs. Georgia if you want to watch how powerful he is. He is the best run blocker we've seen the past 2-3 years at tackle.

He is nasty in the run game, go watch his tape and see how many times he gets the last touch on a play, he gets under opponents skin and plays every single play with aggression, you may think this is a common trait amongst all Olineman, but it is not, this is rare . He is relentless and is constantly getting movement.

Next, you look at his body composition... he has the best lower body as any of the top tackles, he can hold significant weight in his lower body and is wide and thick through the hips and waist. Why is this important? in order to be successful in today's nfl you need to play at 320 on the edge. D'Brickashaw was barely an above average tackle until he put on that weight, and was completely useless in the run game.

Now you gotta look at his weaknesses, most of which are correctable....

He is too aggressive in his pass sets, you can tell this by how he is coming into contact. He needs to sit back and use his length more. He is trying to stone guys at the line, which won't happen at the next level. He needs to become more of a counter-puncher. Luckily he has the ability to do so.

Another weakness is that he is simply too heavy right now to play on the Left. But when you look at his body you can tell that he has the ability to move on the blindside. He has the leg length to recovery step, which is actually the biggest factor on deciding if a tackle can play on the left. If you can't pop and reset after getting even with the End you are simply going to be a bad OT. He has and has shown the ability to do this.

He lunges too much and doesn't get his hips under him in his run sets either, as he has been able to simply grab and push, and up til this point he has been able to get away with it because he is just stronger than everyone else. Once you get him rolling his hips into his blocks your gonna see him on the ground a whole lot less, that's the cause of his problems in that area, and is extremely fixable. But again, look at the success he has had without doing this.


Finally, and this is probably the biggest factor is that if he can't play on the Left he has 2 other ways to impact your team. Both at RT and OG. His physical stature and mentality allows him to be extremely versatile with where you can possibly play him. He is aggressive and relentless and is strong enough to play both of those spots. I don't think you could move any of the other tackles into guard and have the same type of success that you would if you moved Fluker.



All that said, he does not fit every scheme.... and would likely not even be a top 5 tackle for the zone base schemes.

But he clearly has the physical tools to be more than successful wherever he plays. You could also argue that some of his shortcomings are more easily correctable than some of the guys currently ranked higher than him on many boards. Your not ever gonna be able to teach Joeckel to be more athletic, or teach Fisher to have better weight distribution in his lower body.
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