Monday, June 25, 2018

Trey Flowers projected to make Pro Bowl in 2018

June 22, 2018

If he hadn't already, Trey Flowers looks like he's going to blossom in 2018.

In a piece projecting various players throughout the league to make it to the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers on, former Cowboys VP and current senior NFL analyst Gil Brandt has tapped the Patriots defensive end as New England's candidate.

Here's his explanation and breakdown of Flowers' game:

Flowers has led the Patriots in sacks in each of the past two seasons (with 7.0 in 2016 and 6.5 last season), and he was one of just four Patriots to play every defensive snap in Super Bowl LII, which further shows you his value to this team. He has 34-inch arms and an 85-inch wingspan, two traits that are very helpful to a pass rusher.

Statistically, Flowers hasn't put up the numbers of the elite pass rushers in the NFL, but he plays every bit the part of it within the Patriots' defense. The Arkansas product was drafted by New England back in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but really didn't start making an impact until 2016 after dealing with a shoulder injury.

Flowers wasn't kept a secret for long as he was able to make his presence known on the biggest stage during Super Bowl LI against the Falcons. The pass rusher was able to sack Matt Ryan on a critical second down with 3:55 to play to essentially keep New England's hopes of their historic 25-point comeback alive. For that game, he totaled 2.5 sacks and his rise to notoriety began, despite his somewhat underrated sack being overshadowed by Dont'a Hightower's strip sack of Ryan and Julian Edelman shoe-string catch.

Flowers has been budding for quite some time, so he does seem like the right call by Brandt. And it couldn't be better timing as he's set to hit free agency this upcoming offseason.

Another sleeper candidate could end being Chris Hogan given that he'll likely receive more looks from Tom Brady during the first quarter of the season with Julian Edelman suspended as well as the quarterback still works to build chemistry with his new pass catchers. While he's been a clutch player for New England since arriving to Foxboro, Hogan could now be in position to put up the statistical numbers in 2018. It's certainly a long shot, but I wouldn't rule it out entirely.

Speaking of Edelman, if he does lose his appeal of his four game PED suspension, then he would be ruled ineligible for that honor, per league rules.

The rule states, "In addition to the suspension imposed on him, any Player suspended for a violation of the Policy will be ineligible for selection to the Pro Bowl, or to receive any other honors or awards from the League or Players Association, for the season in which the violation is upheld (i.e. following nay appeals) and in which the suspension is served."

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