Trey Flowers was one of the few bright spots on defense as a sophomore and junior, as he combined for 94 tackles, eleven sacks and 27.5 stops for loss, placing fourth in the SEC with 13.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2013. Despite giving up at least 50 pounds of bulk in match-ups with some of the best left tackles in college residing in the SEC ranks, Flowers was unstoppable in 2014, ranking third on the team with 68 tackles, deflecting six passes while leading the Razorbacks with six sacks, 15.5 stops-for-loss and nine QB pressures.
Flowers may lack the ideal height and bulk teams look for in a defensive end, but if possibly moved to linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, he has the physical hands and stout frame to split double teams. He demonstrates very good lower body flexibility. He is able to redirect with no wasted motion and demonstrates proper knee bend and balance to be effective as a bull rusher.
He lacks blazing speed and lateral agility (stiff in the hips), but is somehow slippery getting through trash and has the straight-line burst to surprise a lethargic offensive tackle. He generates a quick first step to gain penetration and the agility and balance to pressure the pocket. He is relentless in pursuit and has that first step that allows him to greatly affect pass protection coverage.
Flowers is a good tackler, an aggressive hitter who will consistently square up and wrap, as he does a good job of using his upper body strength to unload. He is an efficient wrap-up tackler who shows force when striking and exploding behind his tackles. He has the athleticism to stay up and play on his feet. He uses his hands well to protect his legs vs. low blocks, but lacks lateral range and fluid hip mobility.
The Razorback is quick to locate the ball at the point of attack. His lack of bulk hurts him on occasion, especially when working in-line, but he is an effective short area chaser, just not one that I have confidence in covering backs and tight ends in the short-to-intermediate passing range. He flashes the ability to come underneath and make the play, but on the move, he does not have the hip snap and recovery speed to mirror the running back in the short zone.
Flowers shows very good hand usage, pop-&-jerk and rip moves needed to bend the corner, but his failure to open his hips can see him stalled when a blocker gets into his body. The thing I like on film is his body control and flashes of upper body power coming off the edge in a straight-line burst.
His motor is constantly going and he loves to hit the passer. He has the hand strength to counter, pull and jerk the blocker when attempting to gain penetration. He has enough straight-line burst and acceleration to close on the ball, just lacking the lateral range to chase down ball carriers at the opposite side of the field. He shows a strong desire to get to the quarterback and generates that extra surge to finish the play as a pass rusher, though.
As a run defender, Flowers appears to have a strong anchor which translates to the field, as he is stout and plays with leverage holding the edge. He possesses good point of attack skills and consistently gets penetration or draws to a stalemate with blockers. He also flashes the ability to hold up when reduced to three- or four-technique.
However, Flowers is still developing in terms of knowing when to redirect (stalls at times when stood up) and finish plays. His hip stiffness is noticeable when he tries to work down the line of scrimmage, but he somehow manages to get involved in the tackle from the backside. He does have a good concept for taking proper angles and has more than an adequate closing burst when impacting the pocket to get to the quarterback.
Flowers is more of a power pass rusher than one who relies on sheer speed, but he lacks that elite first step needed to gain an edge vs. NFL-caliber blockers. He also does not show great torso flexibility to bend and shave the corner. However, he possesses good strength and power with his bull rush. His ability to rock back and over power blockers is because of his highly effective rip moves, but he is still developing in terms of using his hands to counter.
While his closing burst is good and he is relentless in pursuit of the quarterback, Flowers is somewhat limited in skills needed for a potential shift to “Sam” linebacker. He still needs to learn how to throttle down when changing directions. While he appears to have the capability to spot-drop on occasion, he does show limitations in the open field. While he has played the position, he lacks ideal size (does have the strength though to hold up) if asked to convert to a five-technique in a base 3-4 scheme.
Trey Flowers NFL Scouting Combine measurables
6-2/266 (4.93 forty)
34 1/4-inch arm length
36.5-inch vertical jump
121-inch broad jump
7.34 3 cone drill
4.40 20 yard shuttle
12.03 60 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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