Summary: The 2015 draft class features a strong group of offensive line prospects, and Flowers is in the running to be the first tackle selected. He played left tackle at Miami, but most are projecting him to move to right tackle in the NFL.
Flowers was excellent for Miami over the past few seasons. As a sophomore, he took the left tackle job from Seantrel Henderson and put the former No. 1 recruit on the right side. Flowers went on to be a force for the Hurricanes in 2014 despite having minor surgery on his knee during the season.
Throughout 2014, the junior was a powerful run-blocker for Duke Johnson. Flowers is extremely powerful and consistently pushes defensive linemen out of their gap. He can maul linebackers and push them around the field. Flowers also is quick to fire to the second level and hit blocks, pull or lead blocks downfield. His raw power with long arms is extremely impressive, and he sustains his blocks through the whistle with a bullying attitude. Flowers' power was on display at the Combine as he had the highest total on the bench press despite having long arms.
Flowers was also very reliable in pass protection for Miami and was an asset as the blind-side protector for Brad Kaaya. That was apparent against Nebraska when Flowers won the vast majority of his plays against Randy Gregory. Gregory beat him on a couple of plays, but overall, Flowers got the better of the matchup. Flowers also played well against Virginia in late November despite a couple of bad plays against edge rusher Eli Harold. Overall though, Flowers was impressive when going against the best competition he saw all season.
As a pass-blocker, Flowers is quick enough in his quick slide to negate speed rushers and is strong enough to hold his ground with bull rushers. His agility and impressive length make it harder for rushers to get around him. He could use more work on his technique as his arms can get too wide.
Flowers could end up as one of the top right tackles in the NFL. Moving to the right side would hide that he isn't quite a natural bender. However, Flowers is only 20 years old and has a ton of upside. He could develop into a starting left tackle and would be one of the most powerful left tackles in the league.
In the 2015 NFL Draft, Flowers is worthy of being selected in the top 20. Multiple teams have indicated to WalterFootball.com that they have a first-round grade on Flowers. He should hear his name called on Thursday night.
Player Comparison: Donald Penn. Penn wasn't highly touted coming out of Utah State, but has turned into a very good left tackle in the NFL. Watching Flowers reminds me of Penn (6-4, 340) as they are both thick left tackles who can run block as well as pass block. Penn is a more natural bender and could be more athletic, while Flowers has more power in the ground game. During his career, Penn had some struggles with elite speed rushers like John Abraham in NFC South battles between the Bucs and Falcons. Penn and Abraham each had wins. I could see Flowers being a similar tackle to Penn and also becoming a Pro Bowler.
NFL Matches: Washington, New York Giants, Minnesota, St. Louis, Cleveland, San Francisco, Miami, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Carolina, Tampa Bay
There are a lot for teams that could target Flowers in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The fifth-overall pick could be too rich for Flowers, but if the Redskins move down, he could be a quick upgrade for their biggest weakness on the offensive side of the ball. Flowers also would be a good fit for Jay Gruden's offense.
The Giants could make sense as a team to potentially draft the Hurricanes' standout. New York has to improve its offensive line in front of Eli Manning, and Flowers could start immediately for the team.
The Rams seem like a very logical landing spot for Flowers. St. Louis must keep Nick Foles healthy to have any shot at making a run at the playoffs in the rugged NFC West. Joe Barksdale could be upgraded at right tackle, and Davin Joseph isn't a long-term starter at right guard. Flowers looks like a fit for the Rams, and he could form a phenomenal bookend with Greg Robinson.
Cleveland could use help at right tackle and right guard, so Flowers would make a lot of sense for the Browns if he's available at either of their first-round picks. In time, Flowers could be the heir apparent to Joe Thomas.
The 49ers lost Mike Iupati in free agency, but they did draft Brandon Thomas last year. Perhaps San Francisco will want to maintain a power running offense and take Flowers to replace Iupati since Thomas remains unproven.
Miami made a big improvement in its offensive line last year, but the team still has room to get better up front. If Flowers is available, he could be an option for the Dolphins.
Kansas City could also be a good fit. The Chiefs need a lot of help on their offensive line, where Flowers could start right away. He could be their left tackle with Eric Fisher on the right side.
If Flowers slides in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, he could make sense for the Bengals as the heir apparent to Andrew Whitworth.
The Panthers need a tackle upgrade and a true replacement for Jordan Gross. Flowers' size, power and quickness would fit with Dave Gettlemen's M.O. in the first round. Flowers could be the perfect pick for Carolina and a good value.
Another team to keep an eye on in regards to Flowers is Tampa Bay. From speaking with sources, the Bucs love Flowers. Tampa Bay could seek to trade back into the first round and land Flowers if he falls low enough. Landing a potential franchise quarterback and left tackle in the same draft could be a huge building block toward the team returning to playoff form.