EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Notes and anecdotes from the Giants' selection of tackle Ereck Flowers on the first round of the NFL Draft:
- The Giants have selected an offensive player with their first-round selection for four consecutive years. Flowers follows running back David Wilson (2012), tackle Justin Pugh (2013) and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (last year). The most recent defensive Giants first-rounder was cornerback Prince Amukamara in 2011.
This is the Giants' longest streak of first-round offensive players since they chose six in a row from 1987-92 (Mark Ingram, Eric Moore, Brian Williams, Rodney Hampton, Jarrod Bunch and Derek Brown).
- Flowers is the fourth player from Miami taken by the Giants on the first round since 2002. The others were tight end Jeremy Shockey (2002), defensive tackle William Joseph (2003) and safety Kenny Phillips (2008).
- Flowers is the first Miami Hurricane selected on the first round of the draft since Phillips seven years ago.
- Flowers was the Giants' highest draft choice since they chose quarterback Philip Rivers fourth overall in 2004. Philips was sent to San Diego in the trade that delivered Eli Manning to the Giants. ERECK FLOWERS
Height – 6-5
Weight – 329
College – Miami
High School – Norland (Miami)
There is no questioning the power that Flowers generated in the trenches, as he can easily dominate in one-on-one situations. With experience at both tackle positions, his versatility is another factor why teams that utilize a wide-open passing game have shown strong interest in the Hurricane junior.
A knee injury at midseason cost Flowers playing time, but as the season was winding down, he appeared to be fully recovered. What surprised the Miami teammates and staff was how quick he returned to action, without missing a beat. Flowers suffered the injury during the Virginia Tech game and entered the hospital four days later to undergo surgery.
Without the aid of crutches, he cheered on the team from the sidelines during the North Carolina clash. The coaches were hoping he would return sometime during the season. A week after sitting out vs. UNC, Flowers was back with the first unit, starting the final four contests at the demanding left tackle position.
Flowers was a four-star prospect at offensive tackle by both Rivals.com and Scout.com during his playing days at Norland High School, where he was also rated the 200th-best player in the country as a senior by Rivals. He helped lead the team to an undefeated record (15-0) as the Vikings defeated Crawfordville Wakulla High for the state Class 5A championship.
While Flowers was heavily pursued by Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference schools, his preference was to always stay close to home, making his decision to don a Miami Hurricane uniform a no-brainer. The coaching staff seemed to agree, thrusting him right into the trench wars as a true freshman in 2012. He started the first four games on the schedule at right tackle before the coaches switched struggling veteran Seantrel Henderson to the right side, relegating Flowers to second unit duty.
Both players battled throughout the 2013 offseason for the right to start at left tackle. The staff decided the more mobile and more consistent player would protect their quarter-back's blind side. Flowers remained at left tackle for all thirteen games, with Henderson shifting back to the right side before being benched later in the year. Flowers would post eight touchdown-resulting blocks and 58 knockdowns for the campaign.
Coming off a 9-4 campaign in 2013, big things were expected from the offense in 2014. Injuries and inconsistent play saw the Hurricanes limp to a 6-7 mark, however. Flowers showed flashes of brilliance, followed by flashes of disaster. He provided key blocks on ten touchdown runs and posted seven more downfield blocks that helped pave the way for more scoring drives, but he registered nine costly penalties and allowed four of the 21 sacks yielded by the front wall. The team would close out the schedule with four-straight losses.
One day after south Carolina defeated the Hurricanes by a 24-21 decision in the Independence Bowl, Flowers announced that he decided to leave school and had applied for entry in the 2015 NFL Draft. He had started eleven games in 2014, paving the way for an offense that averaged 180.4 rushing yards per game (48th nationally), 430.3 total yards (44th) and 29.2 points (59th). He was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference teams by the league's coaches, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and Phil Steele.
"I could not be happier for Ereck and his family as he prepares to live out his life-long dream of playing in the National Football League," head coach Al Golden said in a statement. "Ereck has made a lot of sacrifices to put himself in this position, he loves football and the competition. I am really proud of him for the maturity and professionalism he displayed throughout this entire process – he is truly making an educated decision and one that is best for he and his family. We wish him nothing but great health, longevity and success."
Photos of Miami OL Ereck Flowers
After starting four games at right tackle as a true freshman, Flowers shifted to the left side, where he started every game he's played in for the Hurricanes during his last two seasons (sat out the 2014 North Carolina clash), despite playing most of this year with nagging knee issues.
Scouts feel that the junior is developing into the finest blocker the school has produced since Bryant McKinnie in 2001. Tailback Duke Johnson's 1,542 yards this season was a major result of Flowers clearing out the rush lanes, as he recorded eight of his ten touch-down-resulting blocks with Johnson trailing the blocker (tailback scored ten times this season).
Flowers has an explosive burst off the snap and the functional speed needed to get into the second level. He is an aggressive blocker with above average strength and still developing more power. He is flexible and plays flat-footed, showing no problems redirecting. He demonstrates above average agility in his kick slide, doing a nice job of sinking his hips, dropping his weight and bending his knees while generating enough strength to anchor. His suddenness off the ball allows him to create and hold open the rush lanes.
While owning the size and athleticism that scouts love to see, Flowers' inconsistency reading the snap count resulted in nine penalties during the season. While he started at left tackle the last two years, most teams feel that his impressive strength and weight may make him a better fit at right tackle or even guard - where he could excel as he matures early in his career.
When lining up in a two-point stance, Flowers is difficult for isolated defenders and edge rushers to beat on the corner, as he is quick with his hands and has that reach and punch to engulf smaller opponents and stall the bigger ones. He generates good kick-slide in his retreat to seal off the edge and generates a very strong anchor, along with adjusting nicely to twists and late blitzes.
Perhaps it was his knee issues that prevented Flowers from using a bit more knee bend in attempts to maintain better posture, as he tried to compensate for the injury and ended up bending from the waist and lunging too often (see battle vs. Randy Gregory in the Nebraska game). Normally his recovery speed is acceptable, but he seemed to struggle when getting his weight moving back toward the line once out of kick-slide.
Flowers also compensated by using his strong arm-bar, and it seemed to buy him some time, unless he was beaten by a speed move. As a drive blocker, he has great confidence in shocking his opponent with his strong initial punch. Unless a defender escaped his hands, they found it very difficult to push him back off the line.
He has the strength and footwork to seal the edge and turn his man out of the hole, but again referring to his knee injury as a reason, he was inconsistent keeping his feet moving after the initial pop in 2014, even though he showed in the past that he can dominate his man when he delivers his punch to stop the defender.
As for a possible move to guard, Flowers displays the quick feet and body control to excel when pulling and trapping, often pushing his guard out of the way when both are on the move. He's flexible and agile enough to hit his target and strong enough sustain. When healthy, he usually took out the man in front of him, but did have some trouble adjusting to plays coming from the inside.
Down field, Flowers can get to linebackers, knowing his angle and he can physically dominate most second level opponents once engaged. He will bend at the waist at times, allowing better defenders to shed him to make a play as the ball carrier goes by, though. Still, you can see the urgency in his play and his desire to clean up piles and hit the moving targets.
Flowers received All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors from the league's coaches, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and Phil Steele…Flowers appeared in twelve games at left tackle, leaving the Virginia Tech clash and missing the entire North Carolina contest after he suffered a knee injury vs. the Hokies…Underwent surgery four days later and surprised the staff when he was back in the lineup one week later…Part of a front wall that allowed 21 sacks, the 29th fewest total in the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks…He did allow four sacks, 3.5 other tackles behind the line of scrimmage and a quarterback pressure, along with being penalized nine times…He finished the season with ten touch-down resulting blocks, including eight on scoring scampers by tailback Duke Johnson, adding 43 knockdowns and seven key downfield blocks that paved the way for more scoring drives, posting an 84.18% grade for blocking consistency…Paved the way for an offense that averaged 180.4 rushing yards per game (48th nationally), 430.3 total yards (44th) and 29.2 points (59th)…Recorded multiple touch-down resulting blocks as the team amassed 621 yards vs. Cincinnati, repeating it again before he got injured vs. Virginia Tech, a contests where Miami tallied 456 yards. His knee injury vs. Tech would result in him seeing his string of 21 consecutive starts snap the following week.
Flowers took over left tackle duties, starting all thirteen games as the team compiled a 9-4 record…Was one of three offensive linemen to start every game…Helped the Hurricanes generate 5,536 yards in total offense, yielding none of the seventeen sacks given up by the front wall during his final season (Hurricanes finished third in the ACC with an average of 1.31 sacks per game)…Miami was fifth in the league in total offense and fourth with 3,452 yards passing…Flowers finished second on the team with an 84.32% grade for blocking consistency, adding eight touchdown-resulting blocks and 64 knockdowns.
Flowers started the Hurricanes first four games at right tackle before the coaches shifted struggling left tackle veteran over to replace the true freshman in the lineup for the rest of the season…Flowers still saw considerable playing time, as Henderson was usually benched (five times) during the season…One of ten freshmen to start a game for Miami in 2012, he helped pave the way for the third-best passing offense (295.4) and fifth-best total offense (440.2) unit in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
2014 Season…Flowers suffered a knee injury vs. Virginia Tech that required minor surgery four days later, but he was back on the field after sitting out only one game – vs. North Carolina.
Flowers attended Norland (Miami, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Daryle Heidelburg…A four-star prospect at offensive tackle by both Rivals.com and Scout.com… Rated the 200th-best player in the country and 20th-best prospect in the state as a senior by Rivals…Helped lead the team to an undefeated record (15-0) as the Vikings defeated Crawfordville Wakulla High for the state Class 5A championship.
Flowers is a Sports Administration major…Resides in Miami Gardens, Florida
|BLOCKING STATISTICS...Based on review of game film by our scouting department...SGP-season grade percentage...GM-games played...PLAY-amount of snaps played in...KB-key blocks (pancake/ knockdowns)...TDB-touchdown resulting blocks... DWF-downfield blocks... PRS-pressures allowed... SKA-sacks allowed...High Grade Game-best graded game for the season.|
|STATS||GM||SGP||PLAYS||KB||TDB||DWF||PRS||SKA||High Grade Game|
|2014||12||84.18||700||043||10||07||1.0||4.0||94% vs. Cincinnati|