DJ Fluker Alabama A plug-and-play right tackle with exceptional size, girth and length in arms. Fluker is a dominating run-blocker who possesses the combination of power, explosion and aggressiveness with a nasty temperament and skill set that flows throughout his DNA (tape). It was fun to evaluate this big man on the move. This offensive tackle comes out of stance with a wide base, flat back collision; has long levers and powerful UOH (use of hands) to punch, stab and recoil or grab and steer defenders with good finish; flashed pancake production. Good drive, reach, down blocking skills. Good movement to second level, locating target with tag and blow-‘em-up production; very strong UOH (use of hands) to cork screw defenders into the ground. Pass blocker with quickness out of 2/3 point stance, with click slide to edge; long arms keep him in play. He will need refinement vs. edge play; despite good click slide feet, die once edge defender gets even with upfield shoulder, at which point he resorts to waste bend and chases defender upfield. Has adequate feet in pass protection and will need further development in kick-slide technique to protect upfield shoulder. Allows defender to cross face on inside moves when in 2-point stance. Despite good awareness, recovery is merely adequate. This big man’s DNA (film) revealed no one can run through his numbers; good girth, base and anchor. Works well with TE and OG on both pass and run blocking. Has very good traits for RT. If he fails on the edge, move him inside. Softli – First-round talent, first-round pick.
DANNY LEE JESUS “D.J.” FLUKER
University of Alabama Crimson Tide
Foley High School
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
While NFL teams are trending towards using quick-footed offensive tackles to combat vs. the speedy edge rushers at the professional level, slower collegiate tackles are usually moved to an interior line position. That could be the case for the Tide’s massive blocker, but he might be a perfect fit for his customary right tackle spot, where he will not be exposed to blitzers and pass rushers in isolated conditions like a left tackle often faces.
Keeping Fluker at the right tackle position is further cemented due to his incredibly long arms, as his 87-inch wing span was the best for any player in attendance at the 2013 Senior Bowl. Additionally, while playing at 355 pounds during his senior season, he showed nimble footwork in his kick slide and a functional short area burst to get out in front on traps and pulls.
Fluker further impressed decision makers when he was recently clocked at 5.32 in the 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, despite still recovering from late season groin and calf injuries that forced him to pull out of the 2013 Senior Bowl.
The offensive lineman had greatly impressed scouts during the weigh-in session down in Mobile, when he tipped the scales at 355 pounds. That was actually a weight-loss for an athlete that reportedly weighed 400 pounds in eighth grade. Conscious that some teams might have a weight concern, he worked hard in trimming down before arriving in Indianapolis for the Combine, where he dropped sixteen pounds in a month to weight 339 in late February.
Originally from New Orleans, Fluker and his family were forced by Hurricane Katrina to move to Biloxi, Mississippi, and then later to Mobile, Alabama, as they escaped Louisiana just hours before the storm roared ashore. Once the family settled in Mobile, Fluker first attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, where he was a dominating defensive line-man as a sophomore.
Family issues took Fluker back to Biloxi for his junior year, where he remained at defensive tackle. In 2007, he recorded 78 tackles and seven sacks for Biloxi High School.
Prior to his senior year, Fluker moved back to Alabama, this time to the city of Foley.
At Foley High School, head coach Todd Watson convinced Fluker to play on the offensive line to exploit his full potential. In his first year at offensive tackle, Fluker graded out at 92 percent with 60 pancake blocks and 28 knockdowns. He earned All-American honors from USA Today, Parade, EA Sports, and Super Prep. He also received an invitation to the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Rivals.com rated Fluker a five-star prospect and regarded him as the nation’s third-best overall prospect and third-best offensive tackle, while ESPN placed him 12th overall and tops at his position. He also ranked second on the Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 squad. Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report ranked him 25th nationally while naming him to the All-American team as a senior.
Fluker was a member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Super 12 team and a first-team All-State selection by the ASWA and the Birmingham News. The Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team and Mobile Press-Register’s Elite 18 choice was a member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 squad.
After graduation, Fluker decided to enroll at the University of Alabama, choosing the Crimson Tide over other scholarship offers from Auburn, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Florida, Clemson and Florida State. Once he arrived at 2009 fall camp, All-Southeastern Conference and team captain, guard Mike Johnson noted, “The kid’s a freak athlete. He probably outweighs me by 70 pounds and moves just as well. ”
Projected to play as true freshman at Alabama, Fluker was a candidate to replace All-American Andre Smith at left tackle, although junior college transfer James Carpenter was considered to have better chances, and Carpenter eventually got the starting nod. Fluker started the season as third-string right tackle, but eventually redshirted his first year.
In 2010, Fluker started nine games at right tackle. He missed three games after suffering a groin injury vs. South Carolina, returning in a reserve role vs. Mississippi State before heading back into the starting lineup the following week. He closed out his first college season with 58 knockdowns and six touchdown blocks, as the Tide averaged 444.08 yards per game and compiled a 10-3 record, thanks to blocking by their then 303-pound tackle.
Fluker returned from the 2011 off-season measuring in at 335 pounds for his sophomore campaign. He started all thirteen games for the Tide, helping the team finish 16th in the nation and lead the SEC in rushing with an average of 214.46 yards per game. Part of a front wall that yielded only seventeen sacks, the right tackle registered 97 knockdowns and cleared the way for thirteen touchdown runs by Alabama ball carriers over the right side of the field.
As a junior, Fluker weighed 355 pounds, but the right tackle received All-American second-team honors and missed only eleven assignments on 728 plays, yielding just four of the 23 sacks the Tide front wall was charged for, on 267 pass plays. He finished the year with an 89.4% grade for blocking consistency, helping the Tide capture their third national title in four seasons.
Shortly after the Tide defeated Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship Game, Fluker has informed head coach Nick Saban and the rest of the Crimson Tide coaching staff that he was leaving school and had declared for the 2013 NFL Draft. Since he had graduated and was in his fourth year, Fluker was granted eligibility by the National Football League to participate in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
“For DJ to be a part of the Senior Bowl as a 4th year junior graduate is a significant honor to he and his family,” said Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage. “He not only had a great career at Alabama, but he also took care of business in the classroom and received his degree in December. With tremendous pride, Mobile will welcome him home.”
Saban had indicated on his radio show in late November that was wasn’t expecting Fluker to return for his senior season. Asked generally about recruiting needs, the coach told his listeners that the offensive line is a priority because of the expected losses. “We’re a little bit thin in offensive linemen for the future, because we’re going to lose three guys probably, two seniors and a guy (Fluker) who’s probably going to go out for the draft.”
Fluker still needs to refine his pass blocking skills, and the recent weight loss is certain to help with his mobility. With those long arms and good upper body power, he will not be exposed to the speedier edge rushers left tackles usually face. His massive size presents huge problems for smaller defenders to navigate around and while he does get off-balance due to adequate knee bend, he knows how to use his reach to latch on and his punch to jolt and drive back the bull rushers.
Fluker’s best asset is his run blocking skills. For a player his size, he shows good initial burst off the snap and a good concept for angles working his way into the second level. He consistently generates good leverage and when he keeps his pad level down, few opponents have had success escaping him before being engulfed.
Fluke’s potential move to guard, if not deemed a viable option as a right tackle, could be the result of his ability to work in unison with other blockers, especially on double teams and combos. He might not bend at the knees well, but somehow manages to demonstrate fluid moves when shifting laterally. He gets his hands up quickly and has the field vision and instincts to easily neutralize delayed blitzes. He also uses his body well to collapse the edge when asked to clear out trash in order for the outside running lanes to be used by the quicker backs.
With his size, strong anchor and wide base, Fluker is tough for defenders to walk back into the pocket. His initial quickness off the snap will surprise a lethargic defensive lineman and he did a very nice job working in-line as a junior, regularly getting his frame down low enough to cut block and using his arms with force to widen rush lanes in short-yardage situations.
Fluker started 36-of-37 games he appeared in at right offensive tackle for the Crimson Tide, with his only non-start coming vs. Mississippi State in 2010, his first assignment after returning from a three-game absence due to a groin injury…Delivered 245 knock-downs and 34 touchdown-resulting blocks while in the starting lineup.
Fluker received All-American second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp Football Foundation and Associated Press…Named All-Southeastern Conference first-team by the league’s coaches and media…Started all fourteen games at right tackle for the Tide, helping the team average 445.5 yards per game in total offense, as the ground game ranked second in the league and 16th nationally (227.5 ypg) and placed 12th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks in scoring (38.71 ppg)…The 355-pound junior missed only eleven assignments (98.6%) in 728 snaps this season (just two penalties)…
Compiled a blocking consistency grade of 89.4% that included eight performances with marks 90% or better…Posted 90 knockdowns and was second on the team with 33 pan-cake blocks, adding fifteen touchdown-resulting blocks while allowing only four sacks in 267 pass attempts…Paved the way for eight individual 100-yard rushing performances this season and 23 during his career…Earned SEC Outstanding Performance recognition after he graded out at 85% with three pancake blocks and no sacks allowed vs. Michigan, as he helped open holes for 232 yards on the ground and 431 yards of total offense. With Fluker leading the way, T.J. Yeldon (111) became the first Alabama freshman to rush for over 100 yards in his debut game, as the tailback followed his right tackle into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run after Fluker delivered a scramble block to level defensive end Jibreel Black…In the Florida Atlantic game, Fluker again earned SEC Outstanding Performance honors, as he was credited with a 92% grade, with three pancake blocks, no pressures, sacks or penalties, as the Tide turned in another impressive show of balance in a 40-7 win over the Owls (256 yards rushing, 247 passing), as he helped block for Eddie Lacy’s 106 yards, on only fifteen first-half carries…In the Missouri contest, Fluker was part of a Tide
offense that broke out for 533 total yards of offense (362 on the ground), as he produced a season-high seven pancake blocks and provided some of the holes for two 100-yard rushers, with career highs from Eddie Lacy (177) and T.J. Yeldon (144).
Fluker was named All-Southeastern Conference second-team by The NFL Draft Report, as he started all thirteen games at right offensive tackle…Credited with thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and 97 knockdowns that included 31 pancakes to help Alabama rank 16th nationally running the football with an average of 214.46 yards per game, while ranking 20th nationally in scoring offense with 34.85 points per game and 31st in total offense (429.62 ypg)…Part of a front wall that ranked 26th nationally in sacks allowed at 1.31 per game (seventeen for minus 97 yards)…That unit cleared huge holes for 34 rushing touch-downs, as the sophomore blocked for fourteen 100-yard rushers in his career, including ten this season…In the Arkansas clash, Fluker was a force on the right side of the line, paving the way for Trent Richardson to rush for 126 yards and the team to compile 197 rushing yards. He also provided the time for A.J. McCarron to pass for an efficient 15-of-20 for 200 yards and two touchdowns…Opened holes for Richardson’s fifth 100-yard rushing game and 419 yards of total offense, along with giving McCarron time to throw four touch-downs vs. Vanderbilt….Helped Alabama compile 437 yards of total offense in the win vs. Tennessee, as he protected McCarron as the quarterback threw for a season-high 284 yards.
Fluker was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team by the league’s coaches while playing in ten games, starting all but the Mississippi clash at right offensive tackle in the contests he appeared in…Suffered a groin strain vs. South Carolina that would sideline him vs. Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana State…Helped pave the way for four 100-yard rushing games by Alabama, as the offensive line was largely responsible for the Tide finishing 29th nationally in rushing offense at 182.92 yards per game…The offense also ranked 22nd in total yardage (444.08 ypg), 18th in scoring (35.69 ppg) and allowed 32 sacks for losses of 165 yards.
Fluker attended the University of Alabama, but did not play, as he spent the season red-shirting with the scout team.
2011 Season…Suffered a groin strain vs. South Carolina (10/09) that forced him to miss the Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana State contests.
2012 Season…Played in all fourteen games, but late season calf and groin injuries prevented him from playing in the 2013 Senior Bowl and not participate in agility tests at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
5.32 in the 40-yard dash…1.86 10-yard dash…3.02 20-yard dash…4.90 20-yard shuttle…
8.01 three-cone drill…27 ½-inch vertical jump…8’6” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times…36 3/8-inch arm length…10 ¼-inch hands…87-inch wingspan.
Due to Hurricane Katrina, the displaced Louisiana native was forced to attend three different high schools…His family first moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and then later to Mobile, Alabama…In Mobile, Fluker first attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, where he was a dominating defensive line-man as a sophomore…He moved back to Biloxi for his junior year, where he remained at defensive tackle. In 2007, he recorded 78 tackles and seven sacks for Biloxi High School…Prior to his senior year, Fluker moved back to Alabama, this time playing at Foley High School, where head coach Todd Watson was able to convince Fluker to play on the offensive line to exploit his full potential. In his first year at offensive tackle, he graded out at 92 percent with 60 pancake blocks and 28 knock-downs…Earned All-American honors from USA Today, Parade, EA Sports, and Super Prep, and also received an invitation to the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl… Rivals.com rated Fluker a five-star prospect and regarded him as the nation’s third-best overall prospect and third-best offensive tackle, while ESPN placed him 12th overall and tops at his position…Ranked second on the Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 squad…Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report ranked him 25th nationally while naming him to the All-American team as a senior…Member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Super 12 team and a first-team All-State selection by the ASWA and the Birmingham News…The Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team and Mobile Press-Register’s Elite 18 choice was a member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 squad.
Health Studies major…Born 3/13/91 in New Orleans, Louisiana…Resides in Foley, Alabama.
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