One of the biggest questions facing the New York Giants entering the 2016 season was whether or not Ereck Flowers would show improvement following a rough rookie season that saw him grade out as the 76th-ranked offensive tackle in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
The Giants, as fans know, were adamant during the offseason that Flowers would remain at left tackle. Thus, they staked their belief on Flowers and on the ability of new offensive line coach Mike Solari to help the second-year tackle overcome the technique issues that plagued him as a rookie.
Flowers has been far from perfect in the first two games, but the results have been encouraging. Sunday vs. the New Orleans Saints, Flowers was one of the Giants’ five highest-graded offensive players.
2nd year player who's shown some serious improvement after a rough rookie year? Ereck Flowers. He played well again yesterday.— OL Watchdog (@OLineScout) September 20, 2016
Here are some examples of Flowers’ improvement from Sunday’s game.
Flowers stretching the edge https://t.co/o0orLqntJH— OL Watchdog (@OLineScout) September 20, 2016
It's not perfect but everything about that set is better than last year https://t.co/uHi2dlSUIu— OL Watchdog (@OLineScout) September 20, 2016
You can see the difference Solari has had with Flowers. There was no punch last year. https://t.co/UBPCYkwHg4— OL Watchdog (@OLineScout) September 20, 2016
I am not a scout and don’t have a trained eye for the technical aspects of the offensive line. To my eyes, though, I would agree that Flowers has been better. He still seems to struggle with speed off the edge at times, but he is holding his own in pass protection. He also shows signs of using his strength and athleticism to become a dominant run blocker.
No one should expect Flowers to morph into Tyron Smith or Joe Thomas overnight. It is encouraging, though, that Flowers appears to be getting better.