D.J. Fluker OT Alabama #76
Size/Athleticism: Prototypical height. Impressive overall size. Extremely physical lineman who can toss aside smaller defenders when he gets his hands into them. As a right tackle, his athleticism is below average. But if he shifts inside to guard he has more than enough athleticism and quickness to excel in any blocking scheme. Stamina may be an issue. Looked tired at the end of drives and late in some games. Tended to play more upright and was slower off the snap when he started to get tired.
Pass Protection: Elite strength allows him to anchor against the bull rush. Few defensive linemen were able to push their way past him. He’s a little slow footed and sometimes delayed off the snaps which gives edge rushers a chance to get a step on him on the outside. He lacks the quickness to recover when he’s slow out of his stance. Can only sustain his blocks for so long. When the play extends he tends to lose the battle because he just lacks the quickness and footwork to continue to slide outside with defensive linemen. Long arms help him get his hands on the defender and gives him added leverage.
Run Blocking: A true mauler who can dominate throughout the game. Once he gets his hands on a defender, it’s over. He can usually drive his man any direction he wants and can often finish them off into the ground. Didn’t do a lot of pulling at Alabama, but appears to have the quickness in short bursts to handle those assignments if he were shifted inside to guard.
Intangibles: Three-year starter at right tackle. Needs to keep his weight under control. Reportedly weight over 400 pounds in 8th grade. He slimmed down for the combine and appeared in decent shape, but teams will always need to worry about his conditioning, especially in the offseason.
Durability: Sat out Senior Bowl with calf and groin injuries. Missed three games with a groin injury in 2010.
Comments: Fluker is perfect at either guard or tackle for a team featuring the power running game. But in today’s NFL more teams may view him as a guard. Against elite edge-rushers Fluker is going to struggle at right tackle. The combination of his tendency to be slow off the snap and his limited athleticism will cause him to struggle to contain pass-rushers in the NFL. Moving to guard would highlight his strengths (ability to handle the bull rush, and power run blocking) while covering up his lack of athleticism.