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Zay Flowers draft profile: Scouting report, 40 time, and NFL draft projection

Boston College Eagles wide receiver Zay Flowers is not only viewed as one of the best wide receiver prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class, but many also suggest he’s one of the fastest. While we always hear speed kills, chances are, Flowers won’t be the first receiver to hear his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell on April 27.

But Flowers could very well be in the mix to be one of the top pass-catchers selected in the first round. Of course, Flowers has his own strengths and weaknesses, helping him stand out, in a way, among other players at his position.

As you can see below, Flowers is far from being the biggest receiver in the upcoming draft class, but the fact that a player who’s listed at 5-foot-9 can still be viewed as a legitimate first-round receiver should tell you he also comes with a lot of potential. Here’s how Flowers stacked up at the NFL Combine.

Zay Flowers measurables

  • Zay Flowers height: 5-foot-9
  • Zay Flowers weight: 182 pounds
  • Zay Flowers 40 time: 4.42 seconds

Let’s dive into our Zay Flowers scouting report and NFL projection.

Zay Flowers stats and background

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, Xavien “Zay” Flowers came out of high school as a three-star recruit, according to 247 Sports, who viewed the speedster as the 1,202nd-best player in the nation. It’s safe to say Flowers has come a long way with his development since arriving on campus at Boston College.

He quickly worked his way out onto the field, hauling in 22 passes for 341 yards as a true freshman while getting to work with other NFL stars such as Antonio Brown and Geno Smith over the offseason.

Perhaps this played a large role in his growth, as Flowers then doubled his production as a sophomore and once again put up respectable numbers as a junior. Then once his senior season came along, Flowers bloomed into a 1,000-yard receiver, showing he was ready to take on the NFL.

Zay Flowers statsReceptionsRec. YardsTDsYPC
Zay Flowers statistics via CFR

Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors

Statistics courtesy of College Football Reference

Zay Flowers scouting report

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The very first trait to take notice of when evaluating Flowers is his world-class speed. He may not have been the fastest at the NFL Combine, but it doesn’t take long to realize his quickness when putting on the tape. Flowers has this incredible ability to stop and start, changing directions like a squirrel on the fly. It makes defenders look silly, which will surely translate to the next level.

This dude’s just different. As you can see, it doesn’t matter how tall he is, how fast he can run the 40-yard dash, Flowers wins by running circles around his opponents thanks to having elite-level agility.

While some may feel Flowers is too small to be an outside receiver or even develop into anything more than a No. 2 option in an NFL offense, that’s simply not true. Just watch how the diminutive Flowers tracks passes in traffic to go get the football at the point of attack.

This is textbook stuff from the Boston College star.

You see, there are tons of ways to get Flowers involved in an NFL offense. Simply put the ball in this playmaker’s hands, set up a few blocks, and watch him run into the end zone, it’s almost that simple.

Sure, he may not look like a receiver, there are certainly others who do, such as TCU’s Quentin Johnston, but good luck trying to contain this matchup nightmare in the pros.

Making defenders look foolish is just what Flowers does. Do we expect that to change at the next level? Absolutely not. Sure, he’s not going to be your best red zone threat, he’s not really going to Moss anyone, but when it comes to making plays, there are few others we’d take above Flowers in this year’s draft.

  • Zay Flowers draft grade: 81/100
  • Zay Flowers NFL Draft projection: First-round

NFL projection for Zay Flowers

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We can’t help but get excited about Flowers’ pro prospects. Rarely do we see a player as elusive as this 22-year-old. He gives off Tyreek Hill vibes, without the off-field baggage coming into the draft process.

Any team that lands Flowers in the first round will make it a point to get the ball in his hands, whether it’s on screen passes, short dump-offs, or just letting him loose and hoping his speed is enough to outrun everyone else on a deep shot downfield. That’s what’s so exciting about Flowers, with his gamechanging ability, teams have no choice but to try to follow him all over the field.

Flowers can be a quarterback’s best friend by taking what looks like a short gain into massive chunks of yardage after the catch. Whether an offense wants a short-area specialist, someone to wreak havoc over the middle and intermediate areas of the field, or simply searching for a deep threat, Flowers offers it all.

The one thing we can’t expect is for him to spontaneously sprout six inches in height, but being that he was highly productive in college at this same size, we don’t anticipate his smaller frame being an issue in the NFL either.

Flowers will immediately become a top Rookie of the Year candidate on whichever team he joins. By being a top pass-catching threat, while also instilling fear on end-arounds, or even in the return game, Flowers figures to find the end zone a lot in the NFL. We don’t see any reason why he can’t become an annual threat to top 1,000 yards at the next level.

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