What once appeared to be an under the radar signing for the Baltimore Ravens, D.J. Fluker may have played himself into a starting gig at right guard.
It’s been an interesting career for offensive lineman D.J. Fluker. Fluker was a highly touted offensive tackle prospect back in 2013 out of Alabama who was drafted 11th overall by the then-San Diego Chargers. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers before spending some time with the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.
Fluker never became a vaunted tackle like many projected him to be, but he has seen ample success as a guard in the latter half of his career. In his last two seasons with the Seahawks, there is an argument to be made that he was the team’s best offensive lineman at times. Alas, it was simply time for the two parties to move on.
D.J. Fluker then came to Baltimore and signed a one-year $1.075 million deal with the Ravens to come in and compete for a starting spot at right guard. The left side is seemingly Bradley Bozeman‘s to lose, but the right side has a few names to choose from like second-year man Ben Powers or rookies Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson. Baltimore would love to see one of these guys develop into something good, but the team is tasked with replacing future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda, who manned the right guard spot for the team dating all the way back to 2007.
While any of those young guys could step up and win the starting right guard spot, they are likely already behind in the race. D.J. Fluker has had a solid track record the last couple of seasons and is miles ahead of his competition when it comes to experience. Fluker also has experience playing both tackle and guard, which adds to his importance to what Baltimore would like to do offensively, seeings how the swing tackle is an important spot for the offense to utilize. That gig is Fluker’s to lose.
But back to the right guard situation, Fluker has been comfortable in that spot for the last few seasons after failing to play at a high-level at tackle. Instead, Fluker has proven to be more than capable inside with a pissed off demeanor to his blocking. Fluker for all intents and purposes “plays like a Raven.”
It also seems that D.J. Fluker looks to be in the best shape of his life:
This is terrific news for both Fluker and the Ravens. Fluker will need to prove he’s agile enough to run the Ravens complex run style thanks to a mobile quarterback in Lamar Jackson. Thankfully, Fluker has some experience playing with quarterbacks like that in Seattle via Russell Wilson.
All in all, there’s a lot of reason to believe that D.J. Fluker is the runaway favorite to start at right guard for the Ravens and maybe even be on the top of their list when they need a swing tackle.
With the way things are shaking out, don’t be surprised to see D.J. Fluker starting at right guard week one for the Baltimore Ravens. Fluker looks like a rejuvenated player that may be getting a second wind for his career. If there were a time and situation to make that thought come to fruition, it would be here and now in Baltimore. Don’t be surprised when Fluker has the best season of his career with the Ravens in 2020.