New England Patriots 2016 Player Grade: Trey Flowers
By Matty Simo
Trey Flowers was active for one game as a rookie for the New England Patriots in 2015. Then last year, the former fourth-round draft pick busted out.
Defensive end was a key position for the New England Patriots heading into 2016. After trading Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, they needed someone to step up.
While Trey Flowers did not completely replace the production of Jones, he was outstanding in his first full NFL season. The 23-year-old Arkansas product was selected with the second pick of the fourth round in the 2015 NFL Draft. He turned out to be a steal despite missing virtually his entire rookie year due to injuries.
However, Flowers did not hit his stride until midway through last season. He got off to a slow start but made up for it by registering seven sacks in the last nine games. In Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills, he had five tackles and two sacks. Then coming off a bye, he tallied two more sacks and three tackles versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10.
In Weeks 14 and 15, Flowers picked up three more sacks against the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. He closed out the regular season with 10 tackles in the last two games, which is a lot for a defensive lineman.
Next: Matt Patricia Starting Over With Defense in 2017
But Flowers did not stop there, as he was also a major force for New England in the playoffs. In the Divisional Round, he made a career-high seven tackles in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans. And in the Super Bowl, he had a career-high 2.5 sacks and notched six tackles as the Patriots rallied back to stun the Atlanta Falcons.
With veteran Chris Long flying off to the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent, Flowers figures to take on an even bigger role for the defense in 2017. Flowers led the team in sacks and made 45 tackles in what was really his first year in the league. The sky’s the limit for him moving forward, making the young Pats D under Matt Patricia even better.