Fluker: The hype has all but died out
by: Steve Ekenstierna @stevie_oneduhh
In what is considered by most the closest to a regular season game, the New York Giants defense dominated the New York Jets in the third preseason game.
In doing so, it checked off yet another benchmark towards being ready for a tough regular season. Fans and media alike have taken stock in every player, in every unit and what everyone agrees upon is that the Giants offensive line is worth talking about.
One of the biggest moves Jerry Reese and the Giants made in the offseason was signing former #1 pick, DJ Fluker. While he might have disappointed in San Diego, Jerry Reese thought a change of scenery would help the former top draft pick of the San Diego Chargers. Since then..it has been nothing short of crickets from DJ Fluker. He might be the only guy on the roster completely flying below the radar.
While the market for guards and tackles was ridiculously overpriced in relation to the value, the signing of Fluker seemed like a very good Free Agency option. On the other hand, on paper, the draft was one of the weakest in history in terms of offensive lineman, so bringing in help from college seemed unrealistic.
Fluker, the enigmatic former first round pick and standout at Alabama, signed with the Giants for a one-year deal. At 6 feet 5 inches, 350+ pounds DJ Fluker is a player who probably never had to worry about being overlooked…let alone disappearing into thin air.
Fluker hasn’t been cut, but his work at Giants camp this offseason hasn’t been anything but newsworthy. The former tackle and guard came in with the hopes of competing for a starting job; however, at this stage I do not think Bobby Hart(RT) or John Jerry(RG) have anything to worry about.
His career started off well enough that he was named to the All-Rookie team and looked like he would become a mainstay at the right tackle spot for years to come, he faded quickly. Fluker rarely was healthy or in shape.
He was drafted so highly because of the athleticism he possessed at his size. When healthy DJF remained a serviceable piece of the Chargers line, at times showing flashes at the guard position. The Giants thought they might be able to rekindle some of that old magic. At this point we are reporting…there is nothing to report, except that he is still on the team. He has not gotten in a fight, made a great block, jumped on a fumble or hammered open a huge hole.
Fast-forward to late august, the offensive line is the main topic of discussion and DJ Fluker is not in conversation, however, Brett Jones is. Fluker has made so little of an impact that even the most informed fans may not realize he’s even on the team.
Bobby Hart isn’t a starting-caliber tackle in the NFL and John Jerry has basically been waiting for someone to take his job since he arrived, yet…Fluker isn’t that guy. Sports talk radio hasn’t even gotten hold of him and it’s the end of August.
When you’re a guy who was brought in to replace one of two of the worst starting offensive lineman in the league and you’re not even being talked about, that’s a huge issue. We haven’t heard he’s injured or not in shape, we haven’t heard that he’s still learning the system, we haven’t heard anything. To put it lightly, he’s falling pathetically short of even the lowest expectations.