Some might say the fullback position is one of the dying areas in the NFL. Not many teams carry one on their roster, and it’s well known that the position simply isn’t as popular as it was years ago.
That recurring theme came to light even more during the 2018 NFL Draft. Only two fullbacks were taken through seven rounds as teams continued to disregard the position entirely. In today’s game, it’s quite obvious that teams would rather load up a backfield with a variety of backs versed in power, speed and pass catching ability.
But what if there was a player who had a mix of all three…and more. Well, there is, and many are regarding him as one of the biggest sleepers to slip out of the draft.
Dimitri Flowers out of Oklahoma is more than fullback, as he’s labeled. His collegiate career sees him rack up receiving yards, touchdowns, rushing yards and even quite a few blocks. Flowers is a packaged player who has all the tools to succeed at the pro-level depending on how he is used. Just check his stats:
Luckily, the New York Jets made the call and signed Flowers as an undrafted free agent directly after the draft. I had the chance to sit down with him and discuss the road leading up to the NFL, and the road that follows:
Q: How does it feel to be a New York Jet? What’s the experience been like so far since you’ve been signed?
Flowers: It’s been amazing honestly. One of my biggest goals in life was to always get an opportunity to play in the NFL. And, you know, obviously I could’ve had my name called on draft day but sometimes God just has a different plan for me and I trust it fully. Lucky enough the Jets were one of the first teams to reach out to me. I talked it over with my agent and my family and I just felt like it was a really good opportunity for me to be there.
Q: Were you surprised to go undrafted? Can you talk a bit about the process of how it all played out following the draft?
Flowers: I was kind of shocked. A lot of people were. But, there were a few teams in the 6th and 7th round saying that they wanted to pull the trigger and they were about to and it just never happened. And then finally the Jets called me in the 7th round, they called my agent as well. It was just one of those things where the cards weren’t in my hand and I didn’t get drafted but, like I said, I got a tremendous opportunity to be with the New York Jets.
Q: Do you think going undrafted will give you more of a chip on your shoulder when looking for success in the NFL?
Flowers: Absolutely. 100%. There’s always motivation and you have to have your reason why. And for me now it’s because there’s 32 teams that didn’t draft me. There were a lot who were willing to give me an opportunity after but as far as drafting, I mean the draft is going to be the main motivation. To go out there and prove it, I’m completely worthy of it.
The Jets signed #OU FB Dimitri Flowers.. I could see him playing in the NFL for a decade. Really versatile and might've been the smartest football player in the Sooners program.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 29, 2018
Q: You proved to be a Swiss Army Knife type of player on offense during your time at Oklahoma. From running, catching and even blocking. Do you have a feel for how the Jets will use you yet? Is there one particular area where you think you could thrive the most?
Flowers: You know, I have no clue but I kind of know I’m going to move around a little bit. But as far as exactly what I’m going to do, I have no clue. I go up there tomorrow for the start of rookie mini camp so hopefully I’ll get a better idea of all that’s going to be asked of me but, I can handle a lot. Obviously, the more I can do the more likely I’ll be able to make an NFL team. I want it to be the Jets but either way I’m ready to get down on the football field again and all that stuff. But, I have no clue what they’re going to do with me. I know I’m going to move around and I know special teams will be a key part of it.
Q: After a lot of talk about the Jets getting your teammate Baker Mayfield in the draft, they end up with Sam Darnold instead. How do you expect the two rookie quarterbacks to pan out in the NFL?
Flowers: I think they’re both going to be very successful. I haven’t had a chance to hang out with Sam as much but I’ve hung out with Josh Allen at the Senior Bowl and I obviously played with Baker. The one thing I know they all have in common is their work ethic. For them to be able to be that successful, you have to have a good work ethic. I’m just excited to get to work with all the guys.
— Dimitri Flowers (@treeflowers36) April 27, 2018
Q: What kind of advice have you gotten since being signed? Does anything stick out?
Flowers: Nothing really you haven’t heard. Just keep your head down and go to work. It’s a job. There’s nothing else to it. It’s going to be you or another person getting the spot and at the end of the day it’s just going to depend on how bad you want it.
Q: If you could compare yourself to one NFL player, who would it be and why?
Flowers: Probably Delanie Walker. That’s what I would say. Just the way he moves around all over the place and does a lot of different things and does them well. That would be my big thing. Obviously versatility is my thing. That’s what I’ve based my pride on my whole career and you know, I’m just trying to showcase that. I got rookie mini camp this weekend and then the start of OTA’s the week after that.
While Flowers’ contract doesn’t lock him in as a future Jet, it does allow him the opportunity to showcase his versatility to all 32 teams. Obviously, his future will depend on how well he performs in the upcoming offseason workouts and practices. He has the blocking ability, the hands to catch it and the intelligence to be a smart player. Now it’s up to him to make the most of this opportunity and prove himself to all the doubters.