The 2023 rookie draft class is very interesting. It’s deep at running back and top-heavy at wide receiver. This means there are going to be some prospects who will slip through the cracks, allowing dynasty gamers to catch players a value in their drafts.
One player to look out for is Zay Flowers. He’s a productive wide receiver prospect who has been gaining some hype during the draft season. Let’s explore whether the hype is real or if he’s a player we need to fade in our rookie drafts.
Flowers slipped through the cracks in the 2019 recruiting class. 247Sports had him ranked as the 139th-best wide receiver in the nation in their composite rankings. He received offers from 28 different schools, ten of which were power-five programs.
Courtesy of 247Sports.
During his four years at NSU University, a private school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Flowers racked up 124 catches for 1,773 and 26 touchdowns. He had ten touchdowns in his junior season. According to MaxPreps, he also lettered in basketball, making him a multi-sport athlete.
COLLEGIATE CAREER Courtesy of Sports Reference.
Boston College only averaged 176 passing yards per game during Flowers’ freshman season. Tight end Hunter Long led the team with 509 receiving yards. Like with most freshmen, it was a feeling-it-out year for Flowers as he caught 22 balls for 341 yards and three touchdowns.
Things ramped up during his sophomore season. He had three 100-yard performances and two multi-touchdown games. His best game came against Pittsburgh where he caught six passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. This was his breakout season as he owned a 28.53 percent market share of Boston College’s passing production.
Boston College’s passing game took a step back in 2021 as the team averaged just 186 passing yards per game. Flowers was still able to produce, by owning a 33.65 percent market share of the team’s passing production and by leading the team in receiving. His best game of the season came against Syracuse where he caught six balls for 116 yards.
Flowers surprised everyone by not entering the draft and playing his final season at Boston College. This was the only season where he surpassed the 1,000-yard threshold. He also owned a 36.32 percent share of the team’s passing yards and a 57.14 percent share of the passing touchdowns. He had five 100-yard performances. His best game came against Louisville when he caught five balls for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
- Has very good ball skills
- Plays bigger than his size in contested catch situations
- Fluid route runner who can rapidly break off routes
- Very explosive
- Has the speed to get behind the defense
- Can create separation with nuanced route running and short area quickness
- Covers a lot of ground while moving laterally
- Dangerous with the ball after the catch
- Reads the momentum of blockers and defenders when running in the open field
- Limited experience operating against press coverage
- 24 drops on his career and nine drops in 2022
- His 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds listed frame is not optimal
Courtesy of NFL Mock Draft Database.
In terms of mock drafts, his value has been trending up. As we get deeper into the draft season, we should expect him to gain more traction with the media. The odds of him getting drafted in the top portion of the second round are good, but there’s also a chance that he gets bolstered into the first round.
There’s a big dropoff in talent at the wide receiver position which should insulate him from falling to day three of the NFL Draft. More than likely, he’s going to get higher draft capital than expected.
Flowers is falling to the second round of rookie drafts right now. He should hold that value throughout the rookie draft season. The only way he gets bumped up to the first round of rookie drafts is if he gets drafted by a team with a top-tier offense in the first round. Then he would have the draft capital, production, and situation for dynasty gamers to hang their hats on.
I believe he’s a fantastic pivot once the well runs dry at the running back position in the second round of drafts. Once you get to the sticking point where you don’t want to reach on a running back, Flowers should be there as a good option at wide receiver.
Considering he’s projected to get top-50 draft capital, there’s a good chance he’s going to hold his value in dynasty fantasy football. Sky Moore was drafted in the second round to the Kansas City Chiefs and he’s going off the board as WR55 in ADP. The top 60 range should be Flowers’ baseline range after his rookie season. If he blows up or has multiple weeks of production, then he will be regarded as a highly coveted asset in fantasy football.
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