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Is DJ Fluker a Legitimate Option at Tackle for the Miami Dolphins?

Fluker looks ready to go and the Dolphins have struggled at right tackle; this could be a match made in heaven.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

While the Miami Dolphins seem committed to giving Austin Jackson an opportunity this upcoming season, it never hurts to have depth at tackle (as any Dolphins fan can tell you). DJ Fluker began to make noise on social media a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed that he had cut down to 330 lbs and was in the best shape of his career. He went on to participate in Alabama’s pro day and impressed those in attendance.

Per usual, several Dolphins fans jumped at the idea of adding Fluker. As I’m sure the Dolphin’s front office has done, it’s worth looking at this possibility from all angles. First of all, Fluker hasn’t played a regular-season snap since the 2020 season. The Dolphins added him to the roster the following offseason, only to release him with an injury settlement prior to the beginning of the 2021 season.

What Player is Fluker in 2023?

It’s worth looking at this most recent in-game action to see what fans could expect to see from the former first round selection. Luckily, I did that back in 2021...

Fluker had always been a bigger tackle that was a better run blocker than pass blocker... you know, the road grader type. This had seemed to only become more pronounced later in his career.

Baltimore (his most recent team) ran a very unique offense that tends to be centered around things Lamar Jackson does well. That means a lot of running the football, play action, roll outs etc... and a lower percentage of standard drop backs. In an offense like this, Fluker did well.

When he was asked to block more athletic edge players on standard drop backs, he struggled. He could have been dealing with lingering health problems at that point in his career, but he looked like he was stuck in mud at times.

What Makes it Intriguing?

Well, he looks like he’s gotten himself into phenomenal shape while still being plenty big enough to play offensive line at the highest level. That isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when you’ve been away from the game for a few years. Sure feels like he wants to prove something and those are never bad guys to take a shot on.

It’s also intriguing because his biggest issue the last time he played was movement. He clearly struggled to stick with these quicker/faster edge players. After trimming down, that looked much better at Alabama’s pro day. If that part of his game is at least average, he could be a solid starting tackle based off what he put on tape during the 2020 season.

What Should Miami do?

It would make sense to see Fluker get a shot somewhere this season. Even if he just ends up as a camp body, it would be shocking to see him not get that opportunity. Right tackle has plagued the Dolphins ever since Ja’Wuan James left in free agency. Assuming he’s only looking for a minimum (or close to it) contract, what would it hurt to bring him in and give him that shot to compete?