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D.J. Fluker on combine: 'Every single thing you do matters'

  • By Daniel Kim NFL.com
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D.J. Fluker is no stranger to pressure. As a winner of three national titles at Alabama and having just completed his rookie season with the Chargers, Fluker has spent much of the last few years living in the national spotlight.

But ask him about the stress of the NFL Scouting Combine, which he experienced just last year as a 21-year-old prospect, and it's something that's still fresh in his memory.

Fluker recalled the four-day event in a recent interview with Chargers.com, describing it as "a little bit crazy" and "very demanding."

"It makes you a little crazy because everybody is watching you," Fluker said. "You have all these interviews with all the teams and they want you to answer the questions and see how you deal under pressure. You have every eye on you. You need to make sure you do everything correct because everybody is watching you. They have to make important decisions, so they are trying to get to know you."

This year's combine takes place Feb. 22-25, and again, all 32 NFL teams will be on hand in Indianapolis to evaluate more than 300 of the nation's best draft prospects.

What did Fluker consider the toughest aspect of being at the combine? Everything, he says -- not just the drills, but the interviews, how you carry yourself, your background, even what you wear. Teams are taking notes on it all.

"Every single thing you do matters," he said. "One thing I would say is not to wear sweats in the meetings. Go in there with a suit and tie. Be business-like because anybody could go in there with sweats on, but if you go in there with a suit and tie on, that is important because the first thing they notice is how you dress. That shows what kind of person you are. At the end of the day what they want to know is if you as an individual and a player can help the team."

Ultimately, though, Fluker said that proving himself on the field, in front of hundreds of NFL talent evaluators, was probably the most nerve-racking part of the event.

"They want to see you perform," he said. "They want to see what you can do with everybody watching you. Do you keep your poise? I felt a little pressure, but if you go out there with confidence, everything will be OK."

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