Boston College wide receiver, Zay Flowers, is among the most exciting players in the 2023 NFL Draft. This detailed scouting report takes a look at his strengths, weaknesses, and offers a projection for the draft.
2023 NFL Draft Profile
Name: Zay Flowers
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Boston College
Height: 5-foot-9 1/4”
Weight: 182 pounds
Hand Size: 9 1/4”
Arm Length: 29 1/2”
Wingspan: 72 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.42s
20-Yard Split: 2.53s
10-Yard Split: 1.49s
Vertical: 35 1/2”
Broad Jump: 10’7”
Zay Flowers grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with 13 siblings, most of whom loved football the same way he did. As early as Flowers can remember, his brothers and friends would regularly play tackle football in the front yard. Playing against older, more developed peers helped shape the star receiver into the prospect he is today.
Flowers, like his brothers, starred for the NSU University School and set out to prove he was the best football player in the family. He logged snaps at wide receiver and as a defensive back during his high school days, resulting in a three-star rating on the recruiting trail.
Offers from several Big Ten programs and a slew of others on the east coast came swirling in. Ultimately, Flowers decided Boston College was the place to continue his journey to the NFL. It took very little time for the shifty pass catcher to make his presence felt in the ACC.
As a true freshman, Flowers appeared in all 13 games for the Eagles. He hauled in 22 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came from 25+ yards out. This big play ability was amplified even more in 2020, with Flowers earning a spot on the All-ACC First Team thanks to an impressive 55/892/9 stat line.
Flowers witnessed a slight step back in 2021, but this didn’t stop programs from knocking on his door the following offseason. Teams offered lucrative NIL deals to Flowers, hoping to land the 5-foot-9 dynamo. However, he turned down six figures to return to BC, citing loyalty as the primary factor.
It paid off for Flowers, as he posted career highs across the board in 2022. His 78 receptions, 1,077 yards, and 12 touchdowns earned him another All-ACC First-Team selection. The 12 touchdowns serve as the best mark in BC history, and his 78 receptions tied the school record for a single season.
Flowers continued building up his 2023 NFL Draft stock at the Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine, looking like the best receiver in attendance at both events. Now, with an ample amount of first-round buzz, Flowers will become the first BC pass catcher to be taken on the first two days of the NFL Draft.
What makes Zay Flowers a legit first-round prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft? What part of his game can he stand to improve? Let’s dive into a detailed scouting report to get some answers.
2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Zay Flowers
•Explosiveness – The best word to describe Zay Flowers is explosive. He is capable of taking any play to the house and will serve as a home run threat on Sundays.
•Route Running – Flowers is an underrated route runner. He exhibited a diverse route tree at Boston College and should add even more to his arsenal with NFL coaching.
•Suddenness/Acceleration – Flowers uses elite acceleration and suddenness when running routes and with the ball in his hands. He can start and stop effortlessly, and the way he lulls defensive backs to sleep before accelerating is special.
•Hands – Now, Flowers is not without concerns when it comes to drops (more on that later), but his hands are extremely reliable most of the time. He rarely lets the ball travel to his chest, regularly attacking it at the catch point, minimizing the chance of a defender getting a fingertip on the pass.
•Contested Catcher – These strong hands show up in traffic, as Flowers is among the best in the class at coming down with the ball in a crowd. For a smaller receiver, Flowers is more than willing to take a hit in order to move the chains.
•Elite Deep Ball Tracker – When working downfield, no one in the 2023 NFL Draft tracks the deep ball like Flowers does consistently. He always knows where the football is and knows the angle to take to run under the pass.
•Body Control – Flowers displays superb body control when working through his route. He knows how to toe-tap on the sideline, and several times on tape, he contorted his body to make sure his quarterback had an opening to complete the pass.
•Zone Eater – Flowers eats up zones like Pac-Man eats up ghosts. He knows the areas of the field to attack, and when a play breaks down, you can guarantee Flowers will find an open spot in the field to sit down at, providing a safety valve for his quarterback.
•Inspiring Work Ethic – Flowers grew up with 13 siblings and had to earn everything he’s ever received in life. This drive shows up on the field — and off it — as Flowers is known as a hard worker who demands greatness from all those around him.
•Believes He’s A Star – This quality is purely subjective, but when I evaluate a wide receiver, I love hearing confidence when they speak. Flowers knows he has the goods, and he isn’t shy to let others know it, too.
•Size – Flowers lacks the prototypical size for a typical first-round wide receiver. At 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds, durability concerns are valid. There’s a chance Flowers is limited to the slot, which hurts the draft projection, even if the slot receiver is becoming more important in today’s NFL.
•Concentration Drops – As I touched on earlier, Flowers possesses mostly reliable hands. However, his 24 career drops must be mentioned. By my tally, an overwhelming majority of those drops came as a result of concentration — or lack thereof. Rather than it being poor catching form, Flowers simply took his eye off the ball too early, trying to set up YAC opportunities before hauling in the pass. This is easily correctable, but an obvious red flag nonetheless.
•Limited Versatility – Flowers may not be viewed as a true WR1 option, solely because he could struggle on the boundary. Although he performed well vs. press-man coverage in college, he very rarely got the chance to do so. The potential first-rounder must show that these concerns are overblown by proving his prowess as an inside-out threat.
NFL Draft Grade
•Mid-Day 1 (Top 15)
Zay Flowers is my highest-graded wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft. He offers one-of-one explosiveness and competitiveness. The spectacular pass catcher strives to prove himself each time he takes the field, using his game-breaking ability with the ball in his hands. As a route runner, Flowers boasts an expansive tree, which should allow him to win from the slot and the boundary. I would take the BC superstar on day one. He will become a household name as a rookie.