By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
April 13, 2015
WalterFootball.com was able to catch up with Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers. The 6-foot-6, 329-pound Flowers became a lockdown left tackle for the Hurricanes during his collegiate career. Not only was Flowers a reliable pass-protector, he was a bulldozer in the ground game blasting open holes for Duke Johnson over the past three seasons. Flowers played right tackle and left tackle at Miami. Some teams and draft analysts are questioning whether he will play right or left tackle in the NFL, and sources from multiple teams tell WalterFootball.com that they have a top-20 grade on Flowers and expect him to go in that range. Teams feel the 20-year-old Flowers is ready to play in the NFL and has a ton of upside to develop into one of the top tackles in the league.
Previously, WalterFootball.com was first to report that Flowers would be taking pre-draft visits to the Buccaneers, Panthers, Rams, Browns, Jets, Browns and Colts. In speaking with Flowers, he added another team to that list when asked what teams are showing the most interest in him.
"A lot of have shown interest in me. I met with Carolina. The Giants. The Browns, the Colts. A lot are still calling, but you never know. I hear that a lot of guys end up going to a team that didn't show any interest."
The Giants are a new team to be mentioned with you and certainly they could use you. What has been your interaction with them thus far?"
"They came for the pro day; I had dinner with them, and I have a visit set up with them."
Let's go back to the beginning of your collegiate career. Scouts told me that the first practice they saw you as a freshman you clearly were special player and they knew you were going to develop into wanted draft prospect. You were able to break onto the field as a freshman, and that is no small feat at a school like Miami.
"It was a situation where I came in early. I did a lot of extra time with weights and workouts with my Dad. I put a lot of overtime to it and got myself ready to play."
Duke Johnson also played right away, and the past three years. Miami has ran well behind you with Johnson carrying the ball, but the pair of you go back before that into your high school years. It must have made your transition easier to have some familiarity with your back.
"It was great. In high school, we won a state championship together. He knows how to read off my blocks. We have that chemistry where we know how to play off each other with him in the run game. It was great and taking this next step with him now. He just keeps getting better. "
Last year, you could have ended your season early after a minor knee injury and just shut it down to protect your draft status. You worked hard and came back to play against Florida State and finished out the season.
"It was important to me to come back and help my teammates. They were working hard and continuing to fight. The season didn't go as we planned. But it was important to me to help the team as much as I could. I had the scope and went to treatment multiple times a day, and just worked to hurry up and come back."
An interesting game from your junior year was the Nebraska contest against Randy Gregory. Some media have criticized you in that game, but in speaking with some scouts, they said they thought you played well. Gregory won a couple of plays, but you won the majority. How do you assess that game?
"I think I played pretty well that game. I wasn't really worried about matching up against him. I was more worried about my team versus his team and the game as whole. My main focus was on winning the game, but unfortunately, it didn't out like we wanted."
You went up against other good pass-rushers in your career, including Virginia's Eli Harold. Who would you say were the toughest pass-rushers you went against?
"I went up against a lot of good players over the past three years. The players at Florida State; my freshman year it was Bjoern Werner. Georgia Tech has a good player. The dude from Virginia is pretty good. Week in and week out, there was good talent to go against."
Some project you as a right tackle in the NFL, and you played some early on in your collegiate career. Would you be opposed to moving to the right side in the NFL?
"I'm not opposed to it, and I think I can play anything on the line. Where ever I go, I'm going to work hard at it and look to progress at it."
In the long run, do you have preference of left or right tackle?
"In in the long run, I think I'll play left tackle, but whatever team I go to, they'll have a situation and I'll play wherever they need me to play at."
In speaking with scouts, one area they say they want to develop with you is your hands and keeping them inside. Is that something you're working on right now as you prepare for your rookie season?
"Yes, I have been working on my hands here in workouts and just trying to get better. I was working on that and showing that at my pro day."
At the Combine, you led all the players on the bench press. That must have been a big part of the training."
"I put a lot of time in the weight room, and overall, I got ready for all the Combine stuff, and my pro day went well also."
You had a lot of offensive line coaches at your pro da. What was the focus of your conversations with them.
"They say that the draft is just a process and wherever you go it is just the beginning. Some of the coaches told me about how they coach if I end up on their team. All the conversations were really positive and good with the coaches."
At Miami, it looked you ran a variety in ground scheme from zone to man, so you should be well versed for either system in the NFL."
"We switched it up from man to zone. We had a big arsenal and it was pretty cool."
From a leadership perspective, it looks like you, Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett worked really well with freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya and helped him to get a lot better as a freshman starter. How did you guys help him to adjust?
"From when he first came in, we were trying to make it as comfortable as we can for him. He's very bright, and he's going to be really good. From the time he started, we tried to get him comfortable with us and give him the confidence he needs. He really grew a lot toward the end of the year."
See where Flowers is listed in my 2015 Mock NFL Draft
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