We all know the offensive tackles are the darlings of this draft. There are so many of them, the Chiefs – who hold the top pick – can’t decide on which one they want. The top three seem to be interchangeable:
Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M is 6’6″, 306. Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson is 6’6″, 303 ans Eric Fisher of Central Michigan is 6’7″, 306.
The fourth, Alabama junior DJ Fluker, is built differently. He is listed at 6’4″, 339 and he is every bit of that. Good luck trying to get around him. John Mara wanted to improve the club in the trenches. Fluker can do that just by showing up.
The intel is that Fluker is that he is a “pancaker”, which means on running plays, defenders are driven into the turf. He’s like an avalanche when he decides to move forward.
It’s his pass blocking that needs work. Scouts are concerned about his ability to play tackle in the pros, citing poor footwork. Some teams have projected him as a guard.
The Giants wouldn’t mind that. With Kevin Boothe signed for only this season and Chris Snee beginning to show wear, Fluker would be a godsend in the middle of the Giants’ line. They can work him in at RT, but if that doesn’t work out, they’ll have a huge presence at guard for the future.
From Jimmy Kempski…..
The book on Giants GM Jerry Reese is that he drafts for value. That may be true, but a historical look at his drafts would say that Reese loves drafting cornerbacks. Here are a list of corners the Giants have drafted in the first 3 rounds since 2005:
- Jayron Hosley: 3rd round, 2012.
- Prince Amukamara: 1st round, 2011.
- Terrell Thomas: 2nd round, 2008.
- Aaron Ross: 1st round, 2007.
- Corey Webster: 2nd round, 2005 (Reese was not yet GM for this pick. He was director of player personnel).
The Giants also took a safety (Kenny Phillips) in the 1st round in 2008.
There’s an argument to be made that the Giants could draft another corner high in 2013. Prince Amukamara looks like he may be developing into a good pro and Jayron Hosley could be a nice slot corner in time, but Corey Webster was terrible in 2012 and Terrell Thomas can longer be counted on as a viable player with his long injury history. Meanwhile, Aaron Ross re-signed with the Giants, but only for a veteran minimum deal, which means he’ll be competing just to make the team.
If Dee Milliner somehow slides this far, or if DJ Hayden or Xavier Rhodes are still on the board, they could be targets, as could Desmond Trufant.
However, with DJ Fluker still sitting there, he would simply be too good to pass up. Fluker is one of the most enormous humans I have ever seen in person, and his 36 3/4″ arms are about as long as they come. He’s only going to be a RT in the NFL (or maybe a guard), which hurts his value some.
The 2008 Giants used to get a lead on you, and then just bludgeon you to death with the run game. In those days, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie were at the top of their games. The Giants have always been a right-handed running team, until last year:
The Giants haven’t had good RT play since McKenzie’s decline began. Fluker could come in on Day 1 and significantly upgrade the running game on that right side.
Also, just on a side note, if you look at the Top 100 high school prospects lists on Rivals.com over the last 10 years, there are a boatload of current/former Giants and Eagles that appear on these lists. It could be that the Giants and Eagles put more stock than other teams in what players accomplished as far back as high school, or it could just be a complete and total coincidence. Here are some recent/current Giants who were once bigtime high school recruits:
DJ Fluker was the #3 overall high school prospect in 2009.