The San Diego Chargers selected Right Tackle D.J. Fluker with their #11 pick in last night's NFL Draft. This post isn't to tell you how disgusted I am with the pick. It's directed towards confusion at the direction of the offensive line Tom Telesco wants to go in.
D.J. Fluker, who is most beneficial in a power run scheme, can not be the 'cornerstone' of a team that runs a Zone Blocking Scheme. Alabama played downhill, hard-nosed football and Fluker can do this with the best in this draft. He is not as effective moving laterally and his footwork is very overrated in the passing game. This is no secret. He isn't a zone blocker, he is a mauler.
Taking Fluker at 11 means the Chargers will most likely build around what he does well, which isn't bad thing but it's not a fit based on the talent that has already been brought in.
If Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy is true to his word in adjusting the scheme to better fit the players strength, the players will be put in a position to do the same exact blocking assignments they were doing under Norv Turner - strictly base/man blocking.
This selection pretty much ends the zone speculation. Before the selection, the Zone Blocking Scheme at least gave San Diego a shot at competing with the current roster, but you can't go against what is now your best offensive lineman's strengths.
The San Diego Chargers' offensive line, with the thinking that they'll be more dominate than athletic up front, is now even FURTHER behind than we originally thought. We don't know what Johnnie Troutman is, David Molk can't be effective in this scheme and King Dunlap was already fired for not being able to base block.
Moving Jeromey Clary to Guard can not be the thinking or the move. Defensive Tackles will consistently win the pad level versus him. If he has to be one to pave hole, he will need help. The only logical move outside of releasing Clary is to move him to left tackle. While I think Ken Whisenhunt's offense, which features a quick passing game, canhelps him, I will never go into a game confident with Clary as the team's Left Tackle.
Are the San Diego Chargers a better football team today, after having picked D.J. Fluker? Yes, but only because they weren’t that good up front to begin with.
Did the San Diego Chargers address their major issue and or issues? (3rd down defense, Philip Rivers' blindside) Not in my opinion. The Chargers almost have to grab a mauler in the early rounds of the draft to pair with D.J. Fluker because just him and Nick Hardwick attempting to push a defensive line around for 35+ times a game doesn't work in the Chargers favor in 2014.
D.J. Fluker could very well turn out to be an All-Pro and anchor the right side for years to come, but that still doesn't justify the selection at #11. Tom Telesco left a lot of talent on the table. I've supported Tom's 'plan' thus far, I guess I just looked too much into the talent acquired as a signal of what that plan was. I hope I'm wrong.