Ereck Flowers, the junior offensive tackle from the Miami Hurricanes, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after starting 23 career games at left tackle (he also appeared in 12 career games at right tackle.) In 2014, Flowers battled a meniscus injury but still managed to earn Second Team All-ACC honors. Flowers was considered a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Physically, Flowers is a tall, long offensive tackle who has an impressive frame and overall build. At 6’6″ and 322 lbs, he carries his weight exceptionally well with an athletic-looking physique. Athletically, Flowers possesses solid movement skills and good short-area burst, as he displayed the ability to consistently get to the second level as well as reach, get his body in proper position, and seal the edge. Flowers displays good body control and overall fluidity in his initial kick-step, but he can struggle at times with speed to the edge. Even with his long arms, he can struggle to recover when he falls a step behind. Flowers is capable of holding up versus power, showing good balance on contact as well as the lower-body strength and flexibility to anchor down. Flowers needs to develop better hand play if he’s going to become a reliable starter in the NFL. He absorbs/hugs rather than punch; Far too often, the oncoming rusher is able to get to Flower’s chest plate and put him in recovery/panic mode. In the reps where Flowers did get a good fit, he was able to dominate his opponent. He’s simply not consistent enough in that department. In the run game, Flowers is an above-average athlete who gets a good first step off the snap. He can get to the second level and reach linebackers off his frame, and he has the ability to get his body around defenders and effectively seal. Flowers is a powerful in-line guy who can create an initial surge on contact, but he’ll need to play with better leverage/pad level and hands.
BOTTOM LINE: On the hoof, Ereck Flowers certainly looks the part. And there are plenty of reps on tape that scream starter’s ability in the NFL. However, I’m really concerned about his hand play and his failure to consistently get an inside fit. It’s certainly a coachable issue, and I think that he’ll eventually evolve into a starting-quality tackle. But he’s a project with upside at this point who looks the part of a nice day-2 value pick.
GRADE: 7.5 (Late-Second Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)