Sunday, February 10, 2013

Prospect Profile: OT D.J. Fluker - Alabama

Alabama Profile:

Name:  Danny Lee Jesus "D.J." Fluker
Height:  6' - 5"  (Senior Bowl Meas.)
Weight:  355 lbs.  (Senior Bowl Meas.)
Class:  RJr.
Hometown:  Foley, AL (originally from New Orleans, LA...Katrina)
Date of Birth:  3/13/1991 (nearly 22 years old)
High School:  Foley HS / McGill-Toolen (Biloxi, MS)

Crimson Tide Career:

2012 (RJr. Season):  Started all 14 games at Right Tackle.  Walter Camp and AP 2nd Team All-American.  1st Team All-SEC by the Coaches.  Missed only 11 assignments in 728 snaps.  33 pancake blocks, 2nd on a highly talented Alabama OL, graded out at a weekly average of 89.4% for the season.  Allowed 4 sacks in 267 pass attempts.  Alabama offense was ranked 20th in rushing yards per game and 40th in total offense nationally.

2011 (RSo. Season):  Started all 13 games at Right Tackle.  Helped Alabama OL rank 16th in rushing yard per game, 20th in scoring offense, 31st in total offense and 26th in sacks allowed per game nationally.

2010 (RFr. Season):  Started 9 games at Right Tackle, played in 10 and missed 3 starts due to injury (groin).  Earned Freshman All-SEC honors by Coaches.  Alabama finished 29th in rushing yards per game nationally.

2009 (Fr. Season):  Reshirted

2012 Highlights (RJr. Season - #76 playing Right Tackle):

2011 Highlights (RSo. Season - #76 playing Right Tackle):

2010 Highlights (RFr. Season - #76 playing Right Tackle):

(+) Positives (+):
+  Absolutely massive frame
+  Ridiculous arm length (36-3/8" arm length, 87" wing span)
+  Uses his outstanding measurables to his advantage, extending into blocks early with a heavy punch and maintaining his center on defenders
+  Shows patience in pass pro when he doesn't leave himself vulnerable to the inside
+  Can cave a defensive line on down blocks, leaving huge cutback lanes
+  Dominant in the run game, if Fluker gets his hands inside and drives, it's usually over
+  Very good pocket awareness and stunt recognition
+  Has three years of starting experience in the SEC and has played on 2 National Championship Crimson Tide teams during his time in Tuscaloosa
+  Well coached, disciplined
+  Finishes blocks in the run game with a lot of pancakes
+  Dominant anchor in pass pro, rarely gets pushed back, if at all

(-) Negatives (-):
-  While his measurables are elite, his feet are relatively sluggish, and he compensates for his lack of quickness by using his extension
-  Not very athletic in space, may have to play Guard in the NFL
-  Susceptible to savvy pass rushers, will get beat by good technicians on the edge
-  Has a history with groin problems, missing time in 2010 and the Senior Bowl in January
-  Shows bend, but the stronger, faster defenders of the NFL will likely give him trouble
-  Played only Right Tackle in his SEC career, didn't give himself a chance to play some OG at the Senior Bowl due to an aggravated groin injury
-  Can get caught lunging in the run game, swim moves can beat him
-  Very slow down the line when blocking on the backside, gets little contact on reaches

NFL Analysis:
There was heavy hype following Fluker's RSo. season in 2012.  Many thought he'd be a Top 30 pick if he declared in 2012, but he chose to return and helped hold down the starboard side of one of the most dominant college Offensive Lines of the past decade.  The talk now is that some teams like Fluker well enough to draft him in the Top 20 picks.  Obviously, playing Right Tackle in the SEC would mean a natural transition to Right Tackle in the NFL, but some scouts believe that as an OG in a Power Blocking Scheme he could be a Carl Nicks type of presence.  Across the board, however, it's likely Fluker will go no later than the early 2nd.  There are concerns about his quickness and ability to hold down the right edge in the NFL.  Teams in a PBS, looking to run the ball more consistently, beating up opposing defensive lines, will give Fluker a good look at Right Tackle.  If RT doesn't work out, it seems like a relatively easy move inside to LG or RG, where, in a phone booth, Fluker could seriously dominate for a 10 to 12 years as road grader.

Outlook as a Raider:
Tough to see Oakland making a play for Fluker at No. 3 overall.  Like all of the prospects in the 15-50 range, Oakland will only be able to give a talented beast like Fluker a look in a trade down scenario, swapping 1st Round picks with a team in the 10 - 32 Overall range, or even with a gained 2nd Round pick in such a trade down.  With the Power Blocking Scheme back in play thanks to Greg Olson, Mike Brisiel at RG might be expendable...couple that with a need for better depth at Right Tackle and Left Guard and you've got the possibility of Fluker being a fit in the East Bay.  Likely, however, the Raiders will only look to grab Fluker if they're picking in the Top 10 of the 2nd Round after gaining such a pick in a trade down scenario...grabbing the most talented defensive player they can in the 1st.  Above all, the Raiders need to build more stability, depth and potential dominance on both sides of the line.  Look for Oakland to go heavy OL/DL in the 2013 Draft.

Combine Analysis

40 Yard Dash: 5.31
Bench: 21 reps
Vertical: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
3 Cone Drill: N/A
20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
40 Yard Shuttle: N/A

Fluker is obviously banking on the obvious....he's a massive human being with dominant force in live action.  His 40 time at his size is about right, and wasn't the slowest by any means.  As for 21 reps, one could attribute to his incredibly long arms.   He's not built to be a piston like some of these 30" long guards with massive chests.  Pretty ho hum numbers all in all, so Fluker will have had to further distinguish himself in the interview room(s).


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