Jun/08/15 09:20 PM Filed in: Ereck Flowers
There was no time for rookie Ereck Flowers to work on his technique or get acclimated to the NFL level. The New York Giants needed him to step up when starting left tackle Will Beatty tore his pectoral muscle, and since, Flowers has lined up as the first team left tackle in all six OTA practices so far. The ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft was billed with technique concerns by draft analysts, but he has all of the tools to transition to the NFL game. He will need thick skin and an excellent work ethic to make things work at left tackle during his rookie season.
"You have to understand that it's going to get ugly," said Marshall Newhouse, who is currently receiving all first team reps at right tackle, per Dan Grazziano of ESPN. "You look at the tape of the guys playing tackle in these college spread offenses, and it looks real pretty. You get out on your block, one-on-one with your guy, and you lock him up and it all works. But up here, when you look at the tape at the end of a play -- even one that was blocked well, with everybody doing their job -- and it looks ugly."
Geoff Schwartz was added in free agency last season as one of the team's biggest signings. Injuries derailed his first season with the team, and now the plan is to switch him from left guard where he played briefly in 2014 to his most natural position at right guard. He stressed that Flowers can clean up his technique issues, and that it all came down to what the rookie was willing to put into his game.
"You have to bring your A-game every day," Schwartz said, per Grazziano. "If you have any technique issues, especially when you're young, they'll expose that. There are guys up here whose only job is to rush the passer, and they have tape on you, and if you have a technique flaw, they're studying you and they're going to find it."
Schwartz has all the confidence in the world in Flowers' long-term potential based on what he has seen so far.
"Ereck has all the attributes to play left tackle," Schwartz said. "He's got the size, the strength, the athleticism and the attitude."
For the Giants, while Flowers' long-term upside is excellent, they will need him to realize his potential as soon as the 2015 season if they want to make it back to the postseason.