The SideLion Report’s Detroit Lions Draft Profile series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar this spring.
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When it comes to offensive linemen, it’s well known that Lions’ GM Martin Mayhew likes his guys versatile. Just like many linemen who have come before him, Miami’s Ereck Flowers has played at both right and left tackle. With LaAdrian Waddle and Corey Hilliard inconsistent and injury-prone at the right tackle position, Detroit could be looking to a player like Flowers to upgrade the talent and provide some stability to the position.
After viewing four games (Louisville, Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia Tech), I graded Flowers as a 6.9 J (early second round) at left tackle, with a slightly higher 7.0 J (late first round) grade at right tackle. Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:
Ereck Flowers, OL – Miami
Height: 6062 Weight: 329 40 Time: 5.31
NFL Comparison: Marcus Gilbert, Pittsburgh Steelers
Prototypical height and weight with long arms. Light-footed and mobile for his size. Adequate feet to slide out and protect the edge or ride his man around the pocket. Possesses the agility to shuffle, slide and mirror defenders when he locks out. Natural on the move – gets to the second level quickly and can easily pull and trap. Can consistently flip his hips to execute reach blocks.
Effective step-and-seal run blocker; takes proper angles to open run lanes. Above-average in-line blocker. Highly competitive and gives a good effort from snap to whistle. Exhibits good awareness to consistently pick up stunts and loops. Has experience playing on both ends. Excellent football character with leadership traits.
A bit tight-hipped and struggles re-directing vs. speed rushers. Lacks the foot-quickness and explosiveness of top LTs. A bit of a waist-bender at times. Has a tendency to pop upright and lose leverage. Needs to improve angles when run-blocking in space downfield. Hand technique needs improvement.
Although he lacks some of the elite athletic traits of the top-tier franchise left tackles in the league, Flowers’ combination of size, agility and competitiveness will ensure he’s a productive player at the next level. In the games I evaluated, he demonstrated adequate foot quickness to reach the edge vs. speed and mirror defenders through contact in pass protection. Of concern is that he’s a bit tight-hipped and struggles re-directing versus speed – a trait that can be covered in college, but will be exposed at the next level.
In the run game, Flowers consistently takes excellent angles and proved effective both in-line and downfield. Most importantly, he wants to win his one-on-one battle on every snap – an attribute I have found with a high correlation to success for offensive linemen in my evaluations. Late first round/early second round eventual starter at left tackle who grades out higher and can contribute earlier as a right tackle prospect.
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