It is without saying that the New York Jets had an above average offseason. They landed their potential future franchise quarterback in the draft and spent their near $100m in cap space wisely, signing marquee players such as Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson.
But even those moves just touch the surface. The Jets dug deeper in the draft past Darnold, grabbing some real intriguing prospects such as Parry Nickerson and Foley Fatukasi. They also threw some cash to some mid-grade free agents, who could see a rise in stock in their new roles. However, in my opinion, one of the most underrated moves Gang Green pulled off this offseason was the signing of an undrafted free agent: Dimitri Flowers.
The former Oklahoma fullback surprisingly did not have his named called on draft night. Many saw Flowers as the best available FB in this year’s draft class, yet teams continued to pass up on him until he was left unclaimed by the end of the 7th round.
Seemingly shortly after, Flowers took a call from the Jets, and agreed to take his talents to Florham Park for rookie mini-camp. In a recent interview I had with Flowers, he noted that the Jets were one of the first teams to call him before the draft had even ended. He also called it a “tremendous opportunity to be with the New York Jets.”
— Dimitri Flowers (@treeflowers36) May 9, 2018
What Should We Expect?
To start, it would seem as though all the cards are in Flowers’ hands. The Jets fullback position is up in the air. Last year, they attempted to plug in DE Lawrence Thomas into the position, but reality didn’t really meet expectations. With Flowers now added into the mix, it would be silly not to hand the position over to him as he is much more versatile and adept to the role.
And that stigma of versatility continues to be Flowers’ strong point. While many may think of a fullback as peculiar player, one who may only get a few touches a game, Flowers’ potential breaks that mold completely.
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In many ways, Flowers is a Swiss Army Knife type of player. They call him that because, like a Swiss Army Knife, he can be useful in a variety of ways. His talents range from running, catching, blocking and contributions on special teams. This is why in many regards, it was eyeopening not to see Flowers taken on draft night.
But now officially in the green & white, the Jets need to strategize and determine what type of role Flowers is going to play. And it really shouldn’t be too difficult.
I would expect the majority of Flowers’ time to come in goal-line situations. As a power back with the ability to catch and block, the Jets will get a multitude of options near the goal-line with Flowers. They can hand it off and let him power through line, toss him a lob after coming off a block, or simply allow him to protect the QB. Mixing and matching these types of goal-line plays will leave teams unsure of how to handle Flowers.
Flowers may also be present in some forms of the hurry-up, no huddle offense. The Jets attempted pulling these types of plays off last year with Thomas, where he would come off a quick block, make the catch and try and make it downfield, but his size and lack of experience limited him.
This is where Flowers comes into play. His ability to bounce off a block quick, make a catch and shed tackles will be unmatched compared to Thomas. Expect the Jets to utilize Flowers in this regard in the hurry-up and even in unconventional 2nd & 3rd down plays.