New England Patriots 2015 NFL Draft and Beyond

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Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive end Trey Flowers (86) during the second half against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

4th Round (101st Overall, Via TB – Logan Mankins) – Trey Flowers (DE, Arkansas)


For as much criticism as the Patriots received for drafting Grissom and Richards they received equal praise for snagging Trey Flowers. Flowers had a second round/early third round draft grade as he is stout against the run and improved each season at Arkansas rushing the passer. For no particular reason he dropped to the fourth round and New England snagged a bargain early on day three.


Grissom is six-foot-two and 266 pounds but plays bigger as he has long arms and is very powerful. With many NFL teams not sure where he would fit (3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end), the Patriots have a polished player who should be ready to contribute from day one.


2015 Role:

Flowers will compete with third round draft pick Geneo Grissom for time behind starters Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, and free agent acquisition Jabaal Sheard. The drafting of Flowers will push former Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette off the roster. Flowers–at this point of his development–could spell Ninkovich or Jones for a few series on rushing downs. Not the athlete like Grissom, Flowers and his long arms should find a home in the rotation of defensive ends and help key an explosive pass rush from the front seven in 2015.


Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad running back Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska (28) runs past the tackle attempt of South squad defensive end Trey Flowers of Arkansas (86) in the first quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

2016 and Beyond:

Although he may not look the role, Flowers should be a three down player by the time he his rookie contract runs out. Flowers and third round draft pick Grissom should be long-term solutions at outside linebacker/defensive end regardless of how the Patriots align their defense in the future. Flowers is a future NFL starter and New England got a steal at #101 overall.


Similar pick in the past:

The Patriots drafted a “tweener” way back in 1996 in the third round at #86 overall named Tedy Bruschi out of Arizona. Arguably one of the greatest Patriots of all time, Bruschi was a college  defensive end who was too small for end or outside linebacker in the NFL. Bruschi was not a starter until midway through his third season in New England as the Patriots struggled to find a role for him. Bruschi eventually ended up on the inside of the 3-4 linebacking group and became a star for Belichick’s Patriots. Flowers is another player with drive, physical skills who has found a team who should be able to utilize his impressive skills.