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Here's Why D.J. Fluker was the Wrong Pick for the San Diego Chargers

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A recap of the reactions to the San Diego Chargers' selection of D.J. Fluker with the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

USA TODAY Sports

For this post, I'm going to be leaning heavily on friend-of-the-blog Craig Elsten. First, two pre-draft tweets:


I agree. Tom Telesco's plan for the San Diego Chargers should've been to either trade down or take the best player available. After 10 picks, his choices were to either trade down or take:

  • The best Nose Tackle in the draft
  • The 2nd best Cornerback in the draft
  • The best Safety in the draft
  • The best Inside Linebacker in the draft
  • The 4th best Pass Rusher in the draft
  • The 3rd best Guard in the draft
  • The 4th best Offensive Tackle in the draft


As Craig stated in his tweet, the teams that will get the most value in the 2013 NFL Draft are those that draft positions that are being largely ignored and those that trade down. Instead, Telesco ignored the possibility of trading down (Let me restate that because the Patriots for 4 draft picks for their 29th overall pick; He ignored the possibility of trading down and didn't listen to any offers!) and drafted at the position that had been selected the most to that point.

If that doesn't scream "desperation", I don't know what does.

It's become obvious to me what the plan of the Chargers was, and it's so simple that it is bothering me. The way that Mike McCoy said that the team's intention is to get "the five best guys on the offensive line" regardless of where they played before spelled it out for me: They were going to take the highest rated offensive lineman.

It didn't matter if Haloti Ngata was there and Jeromey Clary was the best offensive lineman available (I'm not saying that was the choice, I'm just making a metaphor), Tom Telesco was taking the best offensive lineman available. That goes against everything that has been sold to the fans of the Chargers regarding his philosophy of taking the "best player available". There is absolutely, positively, no way that anybody can think that Fluker was the best player available at #11.


Let's go back to Elsten, because the pick is coming up:



Okay, the pick is about to be made and Craig's not a fan of the Fluker news. I wonder what other sports media types thought?:


Oh. Okay.

As I said repeatedly during last night's "Gernnaro-ly Speaking", this is an A.J. Smith pick. This is a pick by the Chargers that can only be defended by Telesco and McCoy saying that they're smarter than everyone else.

What a terrible way to start a new regime.