Athletics, Football, Sports

Flowers Solidifies Himself as First-Rounder, Displays Athleticism and Muscle Gain at 2023 Pro Day

If countless mock drafts weren’t enough to convince the minds of the football world that former Boston College football wide receiver Zay Flowers will become a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, his performance at BC’s Pro Day surely helped solidify that belief. 

On Friday morning, Flowers was back in Fish Field House doing exactly what he does best—running routes and making eye-dazzling catches—but it wasn’t for BC’s spring season that he’s participated in the past three seasons. 

Instead, Flowers was participating in position drills in front of hundreds of spectators, former teammates, the media, and a representative from all 32 NFL teams. Most viewers were solely there to watch the Chestnut Hill product, who holds the program record for receiving yards, total receptions, and receiving touchdowns. 

After taking reps in three stages of the field—underneath, intermediate, and deep ball—Flowers, with his self-confident but humble demeanor, expressed his own belief in himself and the type of person he is. 

“This is what I expected—this is what I worked for,” Flowers said. “I’m gon’ always just try to have my expectation high because I put the work in for it.”

Flowers said it was refreshing to be back on the Heights. 

“It’s just good to see everybody’s faces again, good to see the coaches, and just be back in Boston,” Flowers said. “Missed the weather a little bit, it’s kinda hot down there, so, needed a cool down.”

Since the 2022 football season ended, Flowers took his preparation down south to where it all started—his home state of Florida. Over the course of his training, Flowers worked out with the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Calvin Ridley, the Denver Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy, and the Miami Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle—some of the game’s most prestigious wideouts. He also noticeably gained 13 pounds of muscle, something that was put on display at the NFL Scouting Combine on March 4. 

“It’s a moment I’ve been waiting on, just being able to train, don’t really have school, put work in, and play football, and, like, prepare for my dream,” Flowers said. 

Having quarterback Emmett Morehead—the Eagles’ projected starter for the 2023 season—throw to him at Pro Day was also a highlight of the day for Flowers, and he praised the rising redshirt sophomore for his contributions to the program. 

“It was a great moment to have him there,” Flowers said. “We didn’t really have a quarterback that was coming out this year, so just to have him out there and be able to share that moment with him was great, ’cuz he’s the next one up.” 

After going through a series of stretches and conversing with NFL scouts, Flowers eased into his workout, jumping into quick slants. One of his best catches of the day showcased a quick hitch step into a slant and then a 180-reverse grab. 

Flowers continued his progression with comeback and out routes and then moved into intermediary dig routes. Lastly, Flowers performed post-corner and lightning routes, exhibiting his downfield abilities, and ended with punt returns. 

“Just show something different,” Flowers said. “Dynamic at all parts of the field … and just show off everything that I showcase on film.”

Flowers said that since the end of the 2022 season, he’s learned certain aspects of what it takes to succeed at the next level and has tweaked his training regimen to reflect those lessons.

“Just take care of your body,” Flowers said. “I love ball, so, every part of it I enjoy so there’s not a part of it that I didn’t enjoy. I’ma just keep enjoying the process and just keep looking ahead for the next day.”

Other notable participants at Pro Day were two-time All-ACC Honorable Mention defensive back Jaiden Woodbey, 2021 All-ACC Honorable Mention defensive lineman Marcus Valdez, defensive lineman Chibueze Onwuka, and wide receiver—all former BC football players.

Woodbey, who recorded a 35-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-6 broad jump, spoke of his versatile abilities after his workout. 

“You know, my mindset since a kid was to compete in every facet, and, you know, become a starter from day one,” Woodbey, who recorded 131 tackles in 20 games at BC, said. “If they want to have me in sub package, linebacker, strong safety, Will backer, strong—I’ve played it all and I’ve done it well.”

Woodbey also spoke about his leadership qualities. 

“Whatever team drafts me, come April, they’re gonna get a guy that’s gonna get the trust of the team right away,” Woodbey said. “They’re gonna get a guy who’s gonna be able to do whatever he needs to help the team win, and that’s a leader from day one.” 

Valdez, who Onwuka coined “the Swiss Army Knife” and recorded a personal-best 9-foot-7 broad jump, performed at various assignments, lining up for defensive line drills while also taking reps at fullback in receiving drills. 

“I tried to use today as an opportunity to show what I could do, be versatile,” Valdez said. “D-line stuff, into the drops, into the fullback. So it was a lot in a short period of time, but I was able to show them my conditioning, my versatility.” 

March 26, 2023