Position: Defensive end
Ht/Wt: 6-2, 265
Experience: 6th season
Outlook: After missing most of the offseason and training camp rehabbing a shoulder injury a year ago, Flowers' first season in Detroit in 2019 after signing as a free agent got off to a bit of a slow start as he worked himself back into form.
But by the second half of last season, he was Detroit's best player on defense. From Weeks 8-17, Flowers piled up 18 quarterback hits, the third most by any defensive end in that span. He was one of only three defensive ends last year with at least 50 tackles, 7.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Flowers was able to train and add strength all offseason. He enters training camp healthy, hungry and ready to go. It's fair to expect Flowers to be a double-digit sack performer in his second season in Detroit, while continuing to also play a good edge in the run game as he always has. The Lions' defense needs to generate more consistent pressure on the quarterback in the passing game, and that really starts with Flowers, Detroit's best defender up front.
View photos from practice during Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage on Aug. 17, 2020.
Practice report: One of the drills in practice that usually attracts a lot of eyes is the pass rush one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive linemen. Left tackle Taylor Decker and Flowers are always up first in that drill and expected to set the tone for their respective position groups.
During Tuesday's padded practice, I marked the first rep belonging to Decker. Flowers was able to push Decker back some with a bull rush, but I thought the veteran left tackle planted his back foot and held his ground enough to win the rep. The second rep between these two I marked down as a win for Flowers on a similar bull rush. This time, he was able to get close into Decker and push him back enough to affect the passer.
Flowers always sets a pretty good edge in the run game and did so Tuesday in team periods vs. the offense. He made a particularly good play late in practice on a play designed for quarterback Matthew Stafford to fake an outside handoff right and boot back to the left for a pass. Flowers stayed home on the fake and got right in Stafford's face as he booted left, forcing Stafford to just throw the ball into the ground at the feet of his intended receiver.
Quotable: "Not having to deal with a situation or injury thing has allowed me to go out there and work and work on my craft and perfect my craft, so I'm looking forward to it," Flowers said ahead of the start of training camp.
"I'm looking forward to the grind. I'm looking forward to going out there and being precise and getting my detail and fundamentals down. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that opportunity."