Let's continue our 'Nine for No. 9' series with a look at another offensive lineman who has often been connected to the New York Giants during the 2015 NFL Draft process. Increasingly, Ereck Flowers of Miami is mentioned as a possibility for the Giants. Let's look at at why he could be the pick, and why he shouldn't be the pick.
The case for Flowers
Over and over you hear draft analysts espouse the belief that Flowers is a perfect "scheme fit" for the Giants as a tackle. Jerry Steinberg of SB Nation's State of the U said that Flowers "is a ready made NFL bookend who can play RT or LT with equal aplomb and could be a cornerstone for your franchise for years to come." In his prospect profile of Flowers, 'Invictus' called him "one of the few true left tackle prospects" in the 2015 NFL draft class. In his fantastic 2015 NFL Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports says "Flowers has the size, athletic traits and competitive nature to be a long-term NFL starter." If the Giants believe that an offensive lineman must have a potential future as a quality left tackle to justify being selected ninth overall, Flowers has to be in the conversation.
The case against Flowers
It starts with this. He will not turn 21 until this Saturday, just a few days before the draft begins. He may have the upside to be a quality left tackle, but indications are that of the top offensive linemen -- adding Brandon Scherff, Andrus Peat and La'el Collins to that list -- Flowers may have the longest learning curve. Brugler writes that Flowers "could have used another year at the college level to clean up his mistakes" and adds that "he might not be ready to start from day one at the next level. He is admittedly unpolished in several areas, but his best football is ahead of him." In what the Giants have described as a "win or else" 2015 season they might not be willing to invest the ninth overall pick in a developmental player who might not be a lot of help to them as a rookie.