Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft scouting report: Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers
Zay Flowers / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Zay Flowers / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

How would Zay Flowers fit on the Carolina Panthers?

  • Rotational piece to start, long-term slot starter

Zay Flowers did most of his damage in the slot during his college career. What better veteran for the player to learn from than Adam Thielen, who has excelled in the same spot throughout a glittering stint with the Minnesota Vikings?

Flowers still has some work to do in terms of perfecting his route-running ability. Thielen has made a name as one of the league’s cleanest, which makes him the perfect mentor. 

While one would imagine Thielen would start the season as the Carolina Panthers’ starting slot receiver, it’s important to note at 32 years old, he is heading toward the end of his NFL career. And despite inking a three-year deal, there is a legitimate out after two.

This gives Flowers the chance to hone his skills at the next level, learning from a savvy veteran such as Thielen and allowing the rookie to eventually blossom. With the Panthers hoping for a big jump from third-year man Terrace Marshall Jr., they could have their long-term WR1 and WR2 in place. 

Where Flowers will be selected remains a mystery. Some mocks having him go as high as No. 14 to the New England Patriots, who were reportedly impressed with the player following his pro day.

If Flowers somehow slips to No. 39, then expect the Panthers to submit their card without hesitation. But if he is still available once the second round gets underway, don’t be surprised to see Scott Fitterer trade up to select the former Boston College star.

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