Zay Flowers -WR-Boston College
Welcome to the rookie profile for Zay Flowers. Zay possesses exceptional speed and explosiveness despite his smaller frame, which allows him to serve as a significant vertical threat capable of making big plays. Although he is currently a relatively unpolished receiver, his impressive athletic abilities make him an attractive prospect for any team in search of a receiver to stretch the field.
Height: 5′ 9″
Weight: 182 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.42s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: 35.5″
Broad Jump: 10-7
Bench Press: DNP
During his senior year in 2022, the All-ACC First Team wide receiver made 78 catches for 1077 yards, with a 13.8-yard average per catch, 12 touchdowns, and a QB rating of 106.1. He also set a Boston College record for receiving touchdowns and was named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He received several accolades, including the Bulger Lowe Award and the Season Golden Helmet Award, and finished his career as BC’s all-time leader in career receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Flowers’s ability to play outside despite his smaller frame of 182 lbs is impressive, showing he is not afraid to go against more physically imposing corners. He demonstrates exceptional ball-tracking skills and hands, making catches in traffic against defenders taller than him. Flowers’s threat in the open field is undeniable, exhibiting remarkable vision and creativity to evade entire defenses. He excels in catch-and-run scenarios, demonstrating good vision to avoid tacklers and a strong desire to break tackles while also contributing as a downfield blocker when necessary.
Additionally, Flowers’s elite balance is demonstrated through his exceptional ability to stop and start on a dime when breaking on routes. His exceptional footwork, suddenness, and change-of-direction skills allow him to create in tight spaces. Flowers’s footwork and elusiveness make him a rare talent in generating big plays behind the opposing team’s defensive backs. Furthermore, he excels at the finer details of the game, knowing when to put his hands up for a catch in order to fool defenders.
Some analysts are skeptical whether Flowers can maintain his role as an outside receiver at the next level. Despite his small stature, Zay has demonstrated excellent speed and quickness, making him a valuable vertical threat in the passing game. Yet, despite his impressive athleticism, Flowers has also struggled with drops, accumulating a total of nine during the 2022 season. His small frame poses a challenge to his catch radius and effectiveness as a blocker in the run game. Many teams may look to deploy him in the slot due to his size, but this will require him to develop his route-running and zone-coverage reading skills.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1/2
Zay Flowers has all the tools to be a top-receiving prospect in this year’s draft. His explosiveness and speed make him a valuable vertical threat in the passing game, and his impressive ball-tracking skills and toughness allow him to make tough catches in traffic. However, his small size and issues with drops will likely lower his draft stock to the second round. Despite these concerns, I believe Flowers could still find a home on a team like the Falcons, who already have plenty of large-bodied targets on their roster. With his speed and quickness, Flowers could thrive in a slot role for the team and provide a much-needed change of pace for their offense.
Post Draft Analysis
Baltimore Ravens - Round 1, Pick 22
Zay Flowers’ arrival at the Baltimore Ravens as the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft introduces an enticing element of speed and dynamism to their offensive playbook. What sets Flowers apart is his ability to operate both in the slot and out wide, embodying the modern-day, versatile wide receiver. His conviction in his ability to execute all routes, irrespective of his position on the field, paves the way for an enhanced diversity in the Ravens’ passing attack. Such versatility and threat are likely to be welcomed by Lamar Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who will be keen to capitalize on the expanded offensive options that Flowers brings. Additionally, his potential contribution isn’t confined to the receiver role alone. Flowers might also find himself in punt return duties, although this will largely hinge on whether Devin Duvernay, an elite returner from last season, makes the final roster.
In terms of fantasy football, Flowers’ immediate impact might not be groundbreaking due to the presence of seasoned receivers like Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr., and Nelson Agholor. However, his anticipated role within the Ravens’ offense and his skillset’s versatility position him as a player of interest for fantasy football managers. Flowers’ game-breaking speed and his ability to contribute in various offensive capacities could see him establishing a significant role within the Ravens’ offensive unit over time. His immediate fantasy prospects might appear somewhat muted, but his raw athletic prowess and potential make him an intriguing prospect for the near future. Given these elements, Flowers is certainly a player that fantasy football enthusiasts should keep on their radar for an early pick in the first round of rookie draft.
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Author: Rod A, Twitter
Image Credit: Winslow Townson – USA TODAY Sports