As we delve further into the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason, our attention has begun to shift towards the draft. Like we’ve done all offseason, these reports will cover the prospects of the 2015 NFL Draft, placing an emphasis on those who could help the Steelers the most.
Back looking at edge rushers today. Arkansas’ OLB Trey Flowers.
#86 – Trey Flowers/OLB Arkansas – 6’2/1 261
– Good weight and frame is filled out
– Impressive arm length for his height (34 1/4 inches) and big hands (10 inches)
– Strong upper body
– Excels in run support
– Gets proper leverage and hand placement
– Active hands, able to shed and find the runner
– Good punch as a pass rusher, no-nonsense player with an effective club and bull
– Has at least one counter, will flash a spin move
– Plus awareness, finds the football quickly
– High-motor player who flows down the line well, chases plays down
– Experience playing both defensive end spots
– Extensive work on T/E stunts
– Lots of starting experience against quality competition
– Will not be a marquee pass rusher at the next level
– Sluggish first step, no explosion off the edge
– Makes it harder for him to convert speed to power on his bull rushers
– Stiff around the edge, prone to getting sealed up the arc
– Marginal athlete, isn’t quick-twitch
– Minimal experience dropping into coverage
– Ran poorly at the Combine (4.93)
– Limited ceiling
– 39 career starts for the Razorbacks
– 2014: 68 tackles 15.5 TFL 6 sacks, 6 pass deflections
– 47.5 tackles for loss in his career
– Never had more than six sacks in a season
– Only named to one All-SEC team in his career (2013 – 2nd Team)
Flowers is the exact opposite of what we’re used to seeing from the edge rushers in this class, and in general, the position. Solid against the run but a questionable pass rusher.
To begin, we’ll focus on the former.
As the left end in the GIF below, watch him drive the H-Back back, shed, and collapse the lane to make the tackle.
Same scenario, different game. Taking on the tight end, sheds him, finds the runner, and makes the stop.
Strong club and disengage against Missouri’s right tackle. Wins easily and then crushes the QB. Was originally ruled a fumble but called an incompletion on the replay review.
Shows awareness and gets his hands up to bat this pass down. Plays like this show how he deflected six of them in 2014.
That all makes Flowers an attractive prospect. In a vastly different scope than say, Eli Harold or Vic Beasley. But his tape doesn’t show someone who is going to be able to consistently get to the QB at the next level.
No more than six sacks in college each year reflects that. From a production standpoint, his numbers aren’t inspiring. He’s slow off the ball and overall, stiff around the edge.
Up by 24 late in the bowl game, it’s a chance for Flowers to pin his ears back against a sophomore right tackle who didn’t even start the game. He had three straight chances to win and was sealed all three times. Very disappointing.
Same case here against Missouri.
Though he took advantage of matchups where he should “win,” I saw him rack up sacks against the aforementioned Texas tackle, and the Missouri tackle who was in his first full year. Not exactly elite competition.
After the first nine weeks of 2014, Flowers had a grand total of two sacks. Encouragingly, he went the next four straight weeks with at least one, and against better competition, but it’s an overall weak performance from someone who wants to be considered a relatively highly touted prospect.
From a Steelers’ standpoint, he’s an Arthur Moats type. No-nonsense pass rusher but better against the run than he is at getting after the QB. Profiles as a strong side outside linebacker who can’t be expected to produce more than five sacks in a season.
Projection: Late 2nd-Early 3rd
Games Watched: at Auburn, at Missouri, vs Texas (Bowl)
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