TREY FLOWERS- 6’3, 270- SR.
Every year, we see productive college defensive ends who struggle to make it in the NFL simply because they don’t have enough raw athleticism. We saw extremely successful players like Jackson Jeffcoat and Michael Sam fail to make opening day rosters in 2014 for this reason. A player in the 2015 Draft class who very well could suffer the same fate is Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers, though as any astute observer of the NFL knows, all it takes is the right scheme fit for any player to experience success.
Flowers can definitely bring some positive skills to the table, as he’s a very smart and responsible player who can make solid contributions as a run defender. With that said, he is not by any means an ideal NFL pass rushing prospect. He’s got the “tweener size” at 6-foot-3 and 270 that, according to scouts, caused a player like Sam to fall way down draft boards this past year. He doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of raw athleticism, either, as he struggles to explode out of his stance and relies almost exclusively on his power to get by offensive linemen. He doesn’t really have a signature pass rush move, and he struggles to use his hands to his advantage.
Because of Flowers’ skill as a run defender and ability to make an impact after the pass, he may be seen as desirable to some teams. He’ll need to take full advantage of his opportunities at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine to ensure that he gets drafted, though.
POSITIVES: Very good run defender, exceptionally disciplined in keeping his contain, always seems to be in the right position to shut down runners in the backfield; has the skill set to be a fit as a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense if he could put on a little bit more weight; can make an impact from both the left and right sides; experience dropping back in zone coverage; revered as a leader by his Arkansas teammates; respected for his work in the classroom, having been named to both the Razorback and SEC Academic Honor Rolls during his time at Arkansas.
NEGATIVES: Not an exceptionally productive college player, has had just five sacks in both his junior and senior seasons; tweener size, not really built to play 3-4 outside linebacker, but undersized to play defensive end in most 4-3 schemes; no really successful finesse pass rush moves, succeeds exclusively on a bull rush; tendency to play with a high pad level, though he has corrected this somewhat during his senior season; closing speed is lacking; not a whole lot of explosiveness out of his stance; very limited usage of his hands, attempts to lock out against tackles time after time; though he is powerful and disciplined, does not seem to possess enough quickness or raw athleticism to succeed as an edge rusher in the NFL.
2014 Summary: Flowers’s pass rushing numbers this year weren’t great, as he had five sacks and nine quarterback hits. However, he did stand out in other facets of the game, finishing third on the Razorbacks’ defense with 63 total tackles and leading the team with 13.5 tackles for loss for 75 yards. He also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. His performance in 2014 was viewed as solid enough to earn him a spot in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January of 2015.
Talent Grade: Seventh Round
Rams Role: It’s difficult to imagine Flowers being a fit in the Rams’ current defensive setup. Two college players who possessed similar skill sets to Flowers and were much more productive in college, Sammy Brown and Michael Sam, have been in training camp with the Rams in recent years but couldn’t crack the roster. The Rams will presumably bring all of their top four defensive ends (Robert Quinn, Chris Long, William Hayes, and Euguene Sims), and 2014 rookie Ethan Westbrooks should have a shot to make the team again next year. With that in mind, it’s hard to believe that a player like Flowers would have any chance of making the Rams’ roster.
Film Watched: vs. Auburn 2014, vs. Missouri 2014, vs. Rutgers 2013, vs. Southern Miss 2013, vs. Texas A&M 2013, vs. Louisiana 2013