Offensive line is an area that can make or break a team, and one of the main reasons the Patriots have been so good for so long is due to consistency up front. The only way to maintain this consistency is constantly using the draft and free agency to add talent. In the Belichick regime, the Patriots have used the draft to find former and current starters Matt Light, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins, Nick Kazcur, Ryan Wendell, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, and Bryan Stork. When you have this much success finding offensive lineman, it makes sense to do your due diligence every year and draft at least one tackle, guard or center. Ereck Flowers, who is considered a first round prospect, would be a strong choice if the Patriots are thinking about fortifying their line.
Flowers starred at Miami Norland High School from 2008-2011. He was ranked as a four-star prospect by Scout.com but only three stars by ESPN. Flowers helped lead Miami Norland to a 15-0 record and a state title in 2011. Flowers came to Miami University in 2012 and played right from the get-go. Flowers played every game his freshman year, starting four. Flowers was part of an offensive line that led the Miami passing offense to almost 300 yards per game.
After rotating most of 2012, Flowers was able to earn the starting left tackle position in 2013 and started all 13 games. The Miami offense put up 426 yards per game and 34 points, and they were led by the strong play of the sophomore Flowers. Only three offensive lineman started every game, with Flowers being one of them.
In 2014, Flowers started 11 out of 13 games, missing two games to a knee injury. Flowers continued to show improvement over the course of the season, improving his technique as a run blocker and becoming more dominant. After his absence, he returned and the Miami offense did as well, racking up almost 500 yards against the Florida State Seminoles. Flowers quickness and mean streak are noted by scouts as his best attributes, making him a strong candidate to play right tackle in the NFL. Right tackle's are typically better run blockers, and Flowers fit's that mold.
Flowers did well at the Draft Combine and raised his stock, finishing with 37 reps on the bench and also looking quick in the 40-yard dash and cone drill. Flowers is the type of player that is going to play from the moment he comes into the league, so the team that drafts him will most likely be filling a need, but it is hard to tell right now where he projects because free agency hasn't started. Flowers should be a first round pick and will most definitely selected in the first 35 picks; offensive tackles with his athletic ability aren't easy to find. If Flowers is on the board and New England is making their pick, it will be hard for Belichick and Caserio to pass on the All-American from Miami.