There will be other players such as Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. that will play or more pivotal role in the success of the New York Giants in 2017 than D.J Fluker. But Fluker will be one of the biggest X-factors in determining the Giants success this season.
The New York Giants offensive line woes over the past few seasons have been well documented. Many called for, and hoped, they would augment the line in both free agency and the draft only to be disappointed. The only significant addition the Giants made to the offensive line this offseason was adding D.J. Fluker via free agency.
Fluker was the Chargers’ first round selection in the 2013 draft (11th overall) out Alabama. He had a solid first two years in the league playing right tackle, but was moved to right guard in 2015. Since then, his career with the Chargers had been up and down which ultimately led the Chargers into releasing him in March. Days after his release, the Giants signed him to a one-year, “prove-it” deal.
There are two things the Giants like about Fluker. One is his durability, having missed only five games during his four-year career. The other is his versatility. General manager Jerry Reese said he is confident that he can play guard or tackle, and that they’ll do some experimenting during this spring.
Fluker may not have lived up to being a first-round draft pick up to this point, but now that he’s with a stable franchise he can reach his full potential. If he can live up to his draft status, then he’ll help solidify the Giants offensive line and allow Eli Manning time to get the ball in the hands of the Giants playmakers.
Expect the Giants to first try Fluker out at right tackle when the Giants have their mandatory minicamp beginning on June 13th. If things go well then he’ll be penciled in as the starter when training camp begins in late July.
Regardless of which position Fluker eventually plays, his performance will be one of the keys in determining how successful the Giants will be this season.