Zay Flowers Boston College Rookie WR Profile | Who Got Next? Part 1

by Shervon Fakhimi · Dynasty Leagues

Zay Flowers is a monster. You wouldn’t know it judging him by his 5-9 182-pound frame, his listed height and weight at the East-West Shrine Bowl, or the fact he has only one collegiate season with at least 1,000 yards. But that doesn’t include the context for how anemic Boston College’s offense was while he was there. In Flowers’ four seasons there, Boston College averaged roughly 222 passing yards per game. They won 21 games in that span. It’s a large part of how and why he registered 200 receptions, 3,056 yards, and 29 touchdowns in his four seasons at Chestnut Hill.

And yet, Zay Flowers‘ advanced numbers still hold up very well. He managed to up a 46.7-percent College Dominator Rating, a 29.6-percent College Target Share, and a 20-year-old Breakout Age, according to Those numbers ranked in the 93rd, 89th, and 63rd-percentiles, respectively. Flowers added 345 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as well. He is a nightmare to tackle and an absolute technician as a route runner. It’s what makes him a likely first-round pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

YAC For Days

Much like the Dr. Dre song on his 2nd album ‘2001,’ Zay Flowers is extremely explosive with the ball in his hands. Not only does Flowers use his supreme speed and quickness to zoom by and elude defenders, but he’s also tough. He’s not afraid to go through you in order to pick up a first down. That’s how Flowers led the ACC in yards after the catch last season.

Do you want to see him zoom by and elude defenders? You won’t find a better example than this video as he makes the Louisville defense look like they’re playing backyard football and Flowers is the only one wearing cleats to the occasion.

But Zay Flowers is not afraid of contact either. If he has to fight for an extra yard or two, he will do so, and he likely will succeed. This play against Rutgers way back in Week 1 is a perfect example of him combining finesse with power.

He shakes the first defender but then faces two more waiting for right at the first down marker. Flowers can’t elude them both, so he takes what he can get. He runs one guy over and nets his team a first down. If you need him to go through or around a defender with the ball in his hands, Flowers will deliver. Oftentimes, he does both in the same play.

BBQ Chicken Alert

Jay-Z once said ‘people back up; they know I’m not no fronter.’ Basically, people in his way know that he means business. Corners felt the same way going up against Zay Flowers. Even on a dreadful Boston College offense, no one could touch Flowers. The best defense was betting on Boston College’s quarterbacks to miss him despite being wide stinking open, which happened—a lot.

Boston College’s offense was a little better in 2020 in Flowers’ sophomore season. In that season, Flowers posted 655 yards against single coverage, according to PFF. That ranked No. 3 in college football. He even fared better than Kyle Pitts in that metric. 

The tradition of no one being able to cover Zay Flowers continued in 2022. He was so fast and shifty that no one could stick with him. Not even if you hold him like this Syracuse corner did here.

Because of his speed and explosiveness, defenders basically have to pick their poison: risk the big play or concede receptions underneath. Wake Forest got the best of both worlds. On this play, Flowers took what was given to him on third and eighth and picked up the first down for Boston College.

A few plays later, Zay burned them.

The Little Giant

Playing off is truly the lesser of the two evils when defending Zay Flowers. He’s open all the time downfield. Cornerbacks really can’t keep up. Even if they do, he has no problem Mossing them.

Flowers mossing people there isn’t a fluke, either. He’s a small receiver, but he plays like a giant. He’s got a larger catch radius than you would expect. This play is a great example. You wouldn’t think throwing Flowers slot fades is a winning recipe, but he hauls the ball in any way.

And by the way, Flowers did almost all of his work on the perimeter in 2022. There shouldn’t be any concerns about whether a receiver his size can take on the size and physicality of outside receivers. He’s good. But if you wanted to make him a slot receiver, he can excel there too. Flowers doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game or craft whatsoever.

The Draft Process

Zay Flowers competed at the East-West Shrine Game in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. By almost every account, he did what Zay Flowers typically does: ball out.

While in Vegas for the Shrine Game and practices throughout the week, a video emerged of Zay Flowers working out late at night while other players were resting or doing whatever. Look, it’s easy to be a cynic here, and I don’t blame you if you were about a marketing agent showing off someone he likely is or will be representing. But it shows me that Flowers gives a damn about this stuff and is a meticulous worker. That stuff matters.

Flowers also didn’t need to participate in those Shrine Bowl practices. Usually, when a guy like him is assured of going in Round 1 or Round 2 of the upcoming NFL Draft, they go home to not risk injury. Flowers didn’t play in the actual Shrine Bowl, but that he even showed up and looked the part on the practice field should also tell us that he is serious and very diligent about his craft. If you still don’t think so, then maybe this interview he did with Brett Kollman will change your mind. It’s hard to not root for a guy like this.


If I had to find one play that crystallizes Zay Flowers as a player and what his strengths are, this play would be it.

He freezes and ultimately burns his corner on the go route, hauls in the pass, then breaks two tackles from that same defender to buy his team roughly 11 more yards. Flowers is incredibly dynamic. He gets open in all levels of the field and also makes people miss often. He should absolutely get drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Watching almost all of his games from 2022 made Flowers one of my favorite prospects in this entire 2023 class. His play and frame remind me a bit of Miami’s Jaylen Waddle. He and Waddle are nearly the same build (Waddle is listed at 5-9 180-pounds; Flowers was listed at 5-9 182-pounds at the East-West Shrine Bowl). Waddle ranked No. 10 among NFL wide receivers in yards after catch (462) and route win rate (49.2-percent). They both make explosive plays look routine and are versatile in how they go about making those plays.

Zay Flowers is the real deal. Most NFL mock drafts pencil him in as a mid-to-late first round pick, or sometimes an early second-round pick. Regardless, he likely won’t have to wait long for his name to get called, which will be great for us fantasy gamers. I hope to acquire plenty of him in all kinds of formats: seasonal leagues, best ball, dynasty, you name it. Zay Flowers is a great receiver and will be one in the NFL for a long time.