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Trey Flowers, the senior defensive end from the Arkansas Razorbacks, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after starting 39 games during his collegiate career. During that time, he totaled 185 tackles, 17 sacks and 47.5 TFLs. His 47.5 TFLs rank as second-most in school history. In 2014, Flowers totaled 68 tackles, 15.5 TFLs and 6 sacks. He finished the year as a Second Team All-SEC performer, marking the second consecutive year with that distinction. Physically, Flowers is an impressive guy who looks thicker than his reported measureables suggest. His weight is pretty well-proportioned, and he has a thick base which is a plus when projecting his ability to hold his ground in the running game. He presents with adequate to plus length which will be an asset moving forward. Athletically, Flowers is a bit tight in the hips; He possesses below-average lateral agility. He runs like a player that is much older, and/or worn down, and that’s a concern for me moving forward. His lack of flexibility is on display when he’s in backside pursuit, as he simply lacks the explosion and quickness to get down the line of scrimmage and make a play from behind. Flowers presents his most value as a run defender; He is a smart and heady player who displays plus awareness. He maintains the integrity of his assignment and rarely gets caught off balance versus misdirection plays. He has racked up a bunch of tackles for loss as a result of his keen understanding of play design and development moreso than any (+) athletic traits. His ability to decipher a play’s design and its aiming point is the kind of skill that generally separates guys that can play versus guys that are just athletes. Coaches will love his ability on first and second down. As a pass rusher, Flowers presents with only average skills and his sack numbers are a bit inflated. He’s not a guy that will get a quick jump off the snap, and while he has some pretty refined hand play, he’s simply not quick or explosive enough to consistently threaten the offensive tackle. He is strong, however, and can (from time to time) shed the tackle in an effort to get to the quarterback He has a “want” as a pass rusher that is encouraging, and he does have some rush moves in his arsenal. He simply needs to get quicker and develop a more sudden burst to be considered a real pass rushing threat.
BOTTOM LINE: Trey Flowers is going to have a valued role in the NFL as a reliable run defender. He wins with a combination of good functional strength combined with sound football intelligence; A combination that generally leads to success in the pros. He reminds me an awful lot of Alex Brown, the former Florida Gator and Chicago Bear, who was a very good run defender but was up and down as a pass rusher throughout his career. If Flowers can get a tick quicker, he could end up being an 8 sack guy who excels against the run. He’s tailor-made for DE in a 43 front.
GRADE: 7.0 (Third Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)