What the Detroit Lions can expect from Trey Flowers in 2019

After signing the four-year veteran from New England, the Detroit Lions are landing Trey Flowers in his prime, who can elevate the defensive line to an elite level.

While the Detroit Lions made more than a few free agency moves to improve this season, perhaps the biggest splash they made was the acquisition of defensive end Trey Flowers.

With the four-year NFL veteran hitting the prime of his career, Flowers has the opportunity to be a game changer on defense here in Detroit. 2018 was his best statistical season so far in his professional career, as he posted 7.5 sacks to go along with 57 combined tackles, nine tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two passes defended in 15 games.

It’s quite possible that all of those numbers could go up this season, being that Flowers gets to play for his former defensive coordinator in Matt Patricia who helped him make a name for himself in New England. Patricia’s defensive brilliance and familiarity with Flowers prove that he will put the former Arkansas Razorback in the best position to succeed here in the Motor City.

In order for Flowers to have his best NFL season in 2019, he has to avoid the injury bug that has been present his whole career. He missed almost his whole rookie season with a shoulder injury, has experienced at least one concussion, and has been rehabbing the same shoulder for the majority of this offseason.

Thankfully for Detroit Lions fans, it looks like Flowers will be healthy enough to play Week 1, as he was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list earlier this weekend, and participated in individual drills in pads.

It has been hard for Flowers to take off as much time as he has this offseason, but he’s taken a very professional approach towards his rehab and has been patient. Here’s what Flowers told Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.

“It’s definitely tough. I’m a guy that loves to perfect his craft and I pride myself on fundamentals and techniques, so just not to have that chance to come out here and work on it is kind of tough, but like I said, I was just staying patient and taking it one day at a time.”

Even though the rest of the team has been practicing in training camp for almost two weeks, Flowers should be able to catch up in terms of learning schemes if he can keep this slow-and-steady approach to his injury. That familiarity with Patricia’s defensive strategies should help make the transition even smoother.

It should also help Flowers’ rehab back to 100 percent health that the rest of Detroit’s defensive line is getting healthy as well. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has fully returned to practice, and fellow defensive linemen Damon Harrison, Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand should also be fully healthy in the next coming weeks, which should help the group form chemistry sooner than later.

As a pass rusher who ranked in the top 10 last season in quarterback hits, hurries and total pressures, Flowers has the potential to head to an elite level in 2019, especially playing with the talented linemen mentioned above who will take up the offensive linemen’s attention. Flowers should rarely be double teamed next season, making it much easier to be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

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If Trey Flowers can avoid the injury bug and continue to improve in Matt Patricia’s schemes, upwards of double digit sacks and some Pro Bowl hype should be heading this way, as he can help the Detroit Lions’ defensive line get back to an elite level for the first time since the beginning of this decade.

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