WR1: Zay Flowers (Boston College)
I stuck my flag in the ground months and months ago, and it remains planted. Zay Flowers is the best receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft and is worth a day-one selection 100 out of 100 times.
He is a route-running savant, possesses otherworldly body control, and tracks deep passes better than anyone else in the class. Additionally, Flowers boasts incredibly strong hands, as he regularly plucks the ball from the air and never allows it to travel to his chest.
In terms of physical profile, Flowers reads as a short and slender “slot-only” pass catcher. However, one look at him on the gridiron, and these concerns quickly wilt away. Flowers is not the ideal size in any area, but with the explosiveness he brings on a snap-to-snap basis, and his hunger to win every snap, it really doesn’t matter how tall he is or isn’t.
Flowers runs routes from the boundary and the slot, effectively separating regardless of his alignment. He uses fluid hips, impeccable footwork, and his high football IQ to tear up zones and always give his quarterback a target when plays break down. Flowers is just as dangerous after the catch as he is before it.
He possesses breakaway speed and put defenders on skates any time they pursue a tackle. Once he beats his assignment, look for Flowers’ hand to go up immediately, relaying to his quarterback to take a shot. Almost every time this happened, Flowers ended up with the ball by the time the whistle blew.
Flowers should make waves on the special teams unit as well, just like his most appropriate comparison — Antonio Brown. Player comps never make their way into my rankings, but sometimes we just have to call a spade a spade.
Flowers is the closest to a sure thing in the 2023 NFL Draft. Take him in round one and start scheming up plays for the gifted pass catcher. He should be a heavy favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2023.
NFL Draft Grade: Mid-Day 1
HM: Michael Wilson (Stanford)
HM: Trey Palmer (Nebraska)
HM: Ronnie Bell (Michigan)
HM: Jadakis Bonds (Hampton)
HM: Dontayvion Wicks (Virginia)
HM: Bryce Ford-Wheaton (West Virginia)
HM: Jonathan Mingo (Ole Miss)
HM: Dontay Demus (Maryland)
HM: Mitchell Tinsley (Penn State)
HM: Matt Landers (Arkansas)