Every so often during the draft, there is a pick that makes you realize just how many players have been selected. When the Cincinnati Bengals selected Marquis Flowers with the 212th overall pick, many experienced one of those moments.
Flowers is a raw athlete who played at Arizona without much fanfare.
He projects as a nickel linebacker who blurs the definition between safety and linebacker. Much like Emmanuel Lamur, a player who is currently projected to fill that role for the Bengals in 2014, Flowers is a big athlete who can move well in space.
He is listed at 6'3" and 231 pounds. At that size, his 4.51 40-yard time was very impressive.
Because he doesn't really have a prototypical position to transition to, he is the type of player who the Bengals coaching staff will look to develop over the coming seasons. This pick definitely suggests that the Bengals are looking to add as much speed as possible to the middle of the field.
With Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict entrenched as starters at the linebacker position, the Bengals already have two linebackers who aren't ideal in terms of quickness and speed. Burfict is able to compensate for his lack of speed with his intelligence and awareness, but Maualuga has proved to be a liability in recent times.
Despite the fact that he will only turn 23 after the 2014 season, Flowers was a three-year starter in college. That combination of experience and youth should be appealing to a coaching staff that is hoping to develop him into a quality player.
Flowers is an impressive athlete, but his motor also stands out while remaining disciplined with his assignments. He is an aggressive and effective tackler who also attacks the line of scrimmage with speed.
Like most players who aren't defined as pure linebackers, Flowers struggles to work through contact and use his hands to get off blocks. He can be reckless in pursuit of the football at times and needs to show better control when mimicking receivers or runners in space.
This is a pure upside selection from the Bengals. A player they want to try and turn into something down the line rather than someone who will contribute during his rookie season.
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