When it comes to wide receiver talent, Boston College might be the last place you would expect to be hearing about. Yet heading into the 2022 College Football season, one of the best receivers in the game has flown under the radar, purely because the stat sheet isn’t the prettiest.
Numbers never tell the full story, and there is a lot to uncover when it comes to Zay Flowers who had a season riddled with inconsistent quarterback play, and a system that really hasn’t figured out how to get the most out of him.
The 2021 season for Boston College did not go as planned. They came out the gates firing on all cylinders in the 51-0 stomping of Colgate, and the Eagles’ fans were salivating at the prospect of Flowers combining with Phil Jurkovec for a full season. The duo connected seven times for 135 yards and a touchdown. However, that combination would be short lived as BC lost Jurkovec for 6 games as he went down in their game against UMass with a hand injury.
In their time away from each other, it was clear that the Golden Eagles filler at quarterback, Dennis Grosel, did not have the same connection with Flowers, missing him many times on routes where the receiver had created separation. It was clear they were just trying to get the ball in their star receivers hands as much as possible, but without the first choice QB the down field ball wasn’t having the same impact. Flowers found some success when taking hand-offs, with his highlight play coming against Temple where he broke away for a 47 yard run, but he simply didn’t have the consistency that was expected of him.
Entering this season, Flowers is a day two pick who could really benefit from a full season with his quarterback. The only obvious drawback to his game is his slight frame, as the receiver is only 5’10 and weighs in at only 177lbs. This means that the bigger corners in the league may be able to throw him off his route at the next level, but the tape shows that he already holds his own quite well and still has plenty of time to put on some decent weight and muscle.
Playing to the Fort Lauderdale native’s advantage is his ability as a fluid athlete. His ability to turn up field and move the chains on a play that very easily could have resulted in nothing at all is something that can’t be ignored. It is probably what stands out the most when it comes to him as a receiver. The route running has seen improvement in Flowers’ time at Boston College, which one can only hope continues, as it isn’t the highlight of his game.
When it comes to similarities, the name that will come up most is UNC receiver, Josh Downs. All offseason it has been about who has the edge on the other. But for a better comparison at the next level is Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Flowers weighs less than Cooks did in college, but both excelled at body control, quick feet, and the ability to track the deep ball.
By Will Lane – @TheWillieLane