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NFL Draft Rewind: No. 21 Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers
Zay Flowers (© Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL Draft kicks off with its opening round on April 27 in Kansas City, so Rivals is taking a look back at its projected first-round picks when they were high school prospects. We move on to our projected No. 21 - Boston College receiver Zay Flowers, who was a three-star prospect in the 2019 class.


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No. 21: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College

Where they were ranked: The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School receiver was a mid-level three-star who was not included in the Florida state rankings and was No. 86 in the position rankings for the 2019 class.

Recruitment: Some schools liked Flowers as a wide receiver and because of his athletic ability, others preferred him as a defensive back so that was still up in the air throughout his recruitment. Boston College landed his pledge in December following his senior season with Nebraska, Kansas State, South Carolina, NC State and others involved.

Biggest question: He’s not big. Flowers measured at 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds at the NFL Combine and while that’s not a deal breaker at all, it is something to consider.

Zay Flowers
Zay Flowers (Nick Lucero/

Memories: The Fort Lauderdale University School trio of RB Kenny McIntosh, CB Josh Sanguinetti and two-way standout Flowers talked about being a package deal but as is the case with many of those plans, it didn’t come to fruition.

McIntosh signed with Georgia, Sanguinetti to Indiana and Flowers, who said an offer from Miami would be a dream, went to Boston College, one of the early programs recruiting him the hardest. The Hurricanes got none of those players from down the road and Flowers, probably the lightest recruited of the three, could end up as the only first-rounder.

Looking back, Flowers should have been ranked higher - and not just because he’s going to be taken early in the draft. He was an outstanding playmaker in high school, super fast, great balance and he had a real competitive nature to his game because he had to prove it against elite competition at his size.

That carried over to Boston College where he finished his career with more than 3,000 receiving yards and 29 receiving scores. I can understand why a mid-level three-star ranking was given since he was about 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds in high school. Size is still a concern in the NFL but with that playmaking ability and how dynamic he is in space, I wish we could go back and revisit that one.

Colorado commit Winston Watkins reminds me a lot of Flowers and the 2025 receiver has five-star potential written all over him.