Flowers started his college career at right tackle, where he helped the ‘Canes become the third-best passing offense and fifth-best total offense in the ACC during his freshman year. He switched to left tackle his sophomore year, where he remained as a junior and developed into a rising prospect on draft boards throughout the NFL.
He also missed some time this year with an undisclosed knee injury (some reports were torn meniscus) and returned within 2 weeks of surgery to face FSU where he completely shut down Mario Edwards Jr. (one of FSU's best pass rushers and an NFL prospect in his own right). So Flowers is also a warrior.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Flowers has several strengths that make him a contender for a high draft pick. Ross Tucker, former NFL offensive lineman and current host of the Ross Tucker Podcast, sees both positives and negatives in the Miami native. "I like the fact that he plays with a little bit of a nasty attitude," Tucker said. "He's not afraid to try to finish people."
Charlie Campbell, senior draft analyst at WalterFootball.com, believes that Flowers has an excellent skill set and is a solid player. "Flowers has really good tape with his run blocking and pass blocking," Campbell said, adding that teams will look toward his tape more than his Combine workout.
Draft analyst Mike Mayock also sees potential in Flowers.
"He's powerful, creates movement. Had a good solid 40, has pretty good feet, slides well." - Mike Mayock on @CanesFootball OT Ereck Flowers— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 20, 2015
When it comes to weaknesses, Tucker sees some deal-breakers. "He's just not very smooth. He does not look always comfortable when kick-sliding in pass protection," Tucker said. "I think he gets over-extended at times as well." Overall, Tucker feels that Flowers looks awkward with his technique and his balance and athleticism.
Campbell sees some room for improvement with his technique, but doesn't feel that it's a major factor in his draft chances.
Projected Round to Get Drafted
Many analysts see Flowers going in the first round, with his strength and size a vital tool. Campbell believes that a first round pick is essentially secured for Flowers, and maybe even a pick as high as the teens.
Tucker isn't as convinced. He feels that Flowers is behind other highly-touted offensive linemen and is more likely to go in the second round. "I'm not gonna take a guy in the first round that doesn't look comfortable at times," Tucker said. "To me, he's a second round pick."
After dominating the bench press at the NFL Combine with 37 reps, but struggling with footwork and technique in the eyes of some scouts and analysts, it'll be interesting to see if Flowers can reduce concerns at Miami's Pro Day on April 1st and secure his place in the first round. No matter where he gets picked, he figures to be a franchise type LT at the next level, given his strength, toughness, and demeanor.