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San Diego Chargers Most Valuable Players: #6 DJ Fluker

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DJ Fluker struggled in 2013 when moving over to left tackle, but the second year right tackle will make a big impact in 2014 in both the passing and rushing game. He is already the team’s sixth most valuable player.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Blocking Ability

Coming out of Alabama, there was no secret to Fluker's game. He was a run-blocker, a mauler, a punisher. At 6'5", 340 pounds with hands the size of Danny Woodhead's body, Fluker embraced that role. He teamed with King Dunlap to form one of the best run-blocking tackle duos on the NFL.

In pass protection, Fluker still has a little ways to go. A man that size is going to have trouble with the faster edge rushers in the league, but he is showing signs of improvement.  A lot of his struggles came from rotating back and forth between left and right tackle, as he was much more effective on the right side. He has, however, been able to use his incredible length and strength to hold up in pass protection. He has taken up boxing in the offseason, which if anything could add some agility to Fluker's game. If he can be even an average pass blocker, he will be a very good offensive lineman.

Importance to the Chargers

Similar to King Dunlap, Fluker is important because there is not a whole lot of depth behind him Jeromey Clary will likely serve as the number two right tackle, which would be a significant drop-off. Having Fluker hold down the right side will be especially important given how the Bolts offense ran the ball in 2013.

In 2012, San Diego's offensive line ranked 24th and 23rd by PFF and Football Outsiders respectively in run blocking.In 2013, they jumped up to 12th and 3rd. Fluker's presence wasn't the only thing that changed, but he was a big part of it. The Chargers loved to run the ball last year. They won 5 games at the end of the year once we saw the dramatic shift from passing to rushing. With the signing of running back Donald Brown (on a very strict budget) it is clear that Frank Reich is going to want to pound the rock again. With a little development Fluker could be the best offensive lineman on a solid offensive line. His mauling ability is going to be key to keeping the offense on track (and helping out the defense) in 2014.

If that isn't enough, Fluker's "body slam" on Sio Moore was one of the best moments of the season, especially since it came against the Raiders. His cross-training in boxing should pair well with his apparent WWE background heading into 2014.

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