As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Zay Flowers.
Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles
2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)
5’10” – 172 lbs.
Florida native who has made an impact in the offense since his freshman season, a campaign in which he caught 22-341-3 (15.5) and also carried the ball 27 times for 195 yards, more than in the subsequent seasons combined. Caught 56-892-9 (15.9) as a sophomore, 44-746-5 (17.0) as a junior, and 78-1,077-12 (13.8) to finish his collegiate career with a bang this past season.
Has been consistently productive during his time with the Eagles; the team clearly tried to manufacture touches for him on reverses, pop passes, etc. Typically lines up in the slot but also takes some snaps as a flanker. Fast accelerator off the line of scrimmage, allowing him to immediately put pressure on opposing cornerbacks. Not purely an underneath target; regularly runs routes further downfield, with a lot of deep ins/overs, double moves (post/corner), seams, and other patterns mixed in beyond the typical crosses, hitches, and outs. Willing to work the middle. Gets even and shows good quickness, footwork, and window-dressing to create separation at the stem. Knows how to change speeds to create opportunity. Hands-catcher who tracks the ball well and has the flexibility and body control to adjust. Overall vision and elusiveness after the catch are solid. Surprisingly physical and aggressive as a blocker for a player of his size, engages with form, can generate some pop on contact, and works hard to sustain.
On the thin side for a pro receiver, teams may wonder whether he has the functional strength to play outside and/or the frame to stay healthy at the pro level. Doesn’t provide the biggest or most reliable target (24 career drops, including nine this past year). Some tendency to sit down in coverage, rather than improvising to create lanes. Would like to see him settle into soft spots in zone more consistently. Can struggle to deal with physicality as a route-runner. Didn’t see many plays in which he was working the sidelines. Doesn’t run through many arm tackles after the catch.
A savvy, productive slot receiver who combines the speed, quickness, acceleration, and attention to detail to produce at the next level, as long as teams feel comfortable with how a player with such a thin frame will hold up against the physicality of the pro game, whether in terms of releasing at the line of scrimmage, staying on track when running routes, or holding up after contact. Of the receivers in this year’s class, is one of the prospects furthest along in his development, which should allow him to make a relatively early impact.
Projection: Round 2-3
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