The New York Jets want to rejuvenate their running attack this year. In 2017, Gang Green’s backfield was less than spectacular. Now GM Mike Maccagnan has put his scopes around the inefficiencies, adding a number of back’s in free agency and the draft.
But it’s yet to be seen if 2018 will be more or less of the same. Rebuilding the offensive line is obviously the first order of business, but what about blocking from other positions?
The Jets have found this in some fashion with their tight ends as of late, but Maccagnan has realized it could stem from elsewhere. Enter, Dimitri Flowers, the so-called fullback who can basically do it all.
Who is Flowers?
The Jets signed Flowers as an undrafted free agent after he was passed up through three days in Dallas. Flowers is certainly one of the most intriguing prospects simply because of his versatility.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound do-it-all fullback hauled in 54 catches for 886 yards and 13 touchdowns, also rushing 36 times for 151 yards and four scores throughout his OU career.
Flowers put together his most productive season yet this past year with 464 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns.
Perhaps one of the most underappreciated players in the country and a critical cog in OU’s offense, Flowers started 32 of 53 career games, including 13 of 14 this past season en route to First-Team All-Big 12 honors.
- Tough and reliable
- Versatility helped to improve balance for Sooner offense
- Used as an H-back
- Can operate as downhill iso blocker or as move blocker in space
- Trusted with trap blocking talented Ohio State defensive tackles
- Capable of adjusting blocks to moving targets
- Able to stick and sustain against cornerbacks and safeties coming to help in run support
- Respect for him as a blocker allows him to sneak past defenses into the flat or up the field in play-action
- Good pass catcher with natural hands
- Never dinged for a dropped pass
- Can be used in pass protection on third down
- Able to help on special teams and as a short-yardage ball carrier
- Can improve his angles for cut-off and wash down blocks
- At times, looks unsure of his target when pulling across formation as a lead blocker
- Unable to create separation for himself as a route-runner
- Tight hips limit his bend and ability for sharp change of direction
- Isn’t going to create many additional yards for himself as a runner or after the catch
What They’re Saying
“A lot of teams that I talked to, that was the main conversation — my versatility. They love that stuff, especially my willingness to play special teams. I did it all four years in Oklahoma. Just having the versatility and the experience of playing special teams is big to those teams.” – Flowers via TulsaWorld.com
Flowers may be viewed by some teams as a luxury, but he’s the type of luxury item that will pay for itself over time. Flowers could be an early starter thanks to his ability to plug into so many roles for teams operating out of a variety of personnel groupings. – NFL.com
“Swiss-army knife at the H-back spot. For his position, he exudes athleticism, and he rarely is out of control as a lead-blocker. Plenty of pop behind his pads. Smooth athlete and reliable receiver with good yards-after-the-catch ability.” -CBSSports.com
Though some would say that the fullback is a dying breed in the NFL, Flowers could be the exception. He is a different type of breed in that he can block, catch, run, and tackle. The Jets have lacked a player with such dense versatility in recent years.
The last Jets FB to make somewhat of an impact? Tommy Bohanon. Though, most would say Flowers is likely to have a much higher ceiling.
I believe Flowers will allow the Jets to run more dynamic schemes on offense, if he does indeed make the final roster. His numbers won’t pop off the page like they did at Oklahoma, but his presence gives any quarterback under center an extra security blanket either for a catch or a block.