2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chargers take Alabama's D.J. Fluker with 11th pick

By BERNIE WILSON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-25 23:53

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers began rebuilding their woeful offensive line when they took right tackle D.J. Fluker of Alabama with the 11th pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.

Rookie general manager Tom Telesco said he likes Fluker's energy, and the big right tackle said he's looking forward to showing what he's got.

``Me personally, I want to be the Ray Lewis of my offensive line. I'm a guy that's going to lead my team to victory. Just basically, be the high-energy guy. Being on the field is my playground. I enjoy it.''

Many people thought the Chargers would take a left tackle after they released Jared Gaither earlier this offseason, cutting ties with a player nicknamed ``The Big Lazy.''

The Chargers picked Fluker after watching the top three tackles in the draft - Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson - go in the top four picks. The top two guards, Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack, were gone by the 10th pick.

Fluker, a three-year starter at right tackle for the Crimson Tide who played on the last two national championship teams, was one of the best run blockers in college. With the Chargers, he'll also have to help keep Philip Rivers upright. The $93 million quarterback was under siege much of last season, getting sacked 49 times and committing 22 turnovers as the Chargers missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

The Chargers said Fluker will play right tackle. Jeromey Clary is currently the starter there.

``I would never limit my abilities. I could play anywhere, right tackle, right guard, left guard, left tackle. I never stop working. Me playing? I can play. I can play right tackle,'' Fluker said.

``He comes from a winning program and he's going to bring a mentality that we can add here to our offensive line, a physicality, a toughness,'' Telesco said. ``We think he can help both the run and pass game. He's a guy we think can be a cornerstone on our offensive line for a long time.''

Fluker is 6-foot-5, 339 pounds.

``For an offensive lineman he plays with a lot of energy and passion. You don't see that very often, especially with big guys. That's one of the things you see in the tape right away is the energy he plays with. That will come out in his personality and it comes out on the field as well.''

Telesco said it was hard to compare Fluker with anyone else.

``He's such a big man and plays powerful. He's nasty on the field. But he's an underrated athlete for how good his feet are. He blocks linebackers in space and does it extremely well. And he's blocked a lot of really good pass rushers in the SEC for three years, so these guys are hard to come by.''

Telesco said trading down was not an option.

``There's a premium on tackles, there really is, left and right,'' the GM said.

``The run on tackles early on with three going in the first four picks, really helped D.J.,'' Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement. ``It is great place for him to have that opportunity. San Diego is a good organization and a great place to live. I think he will do a really good job as well.''

New coach Mike McCoy said free agent acquisition King Dunlap is the No. 1 left tackle for the time being. McCoy said line coach Joe D'Alessandris is doing a good job moving players around in offseason workouts.

``We're not worrying about it,'' McCoy said. ``There's still rounds in the draft left and there's still some things than could happen down the road. We're going to keep on moving the line around. Until we find the best combination of five guys, Joe's going to have some flexibility of what we want to do and really find the best five guys to play together.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

Leonard HankersonDec 20 03:12p

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Gabe Miller, DL Jason Hatcher, OG Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson inactive for Week 16.

Roy HeluDec 20 03:02p

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (toe) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

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Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

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T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

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T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

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C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

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Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

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DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

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