Ereck Flowers, the talented Miami tackle, said his struggles in one game last season have given him all the inspiration he needs to move on to a successful NFL career.
Ereck Flowers doesn't want his draft status to be based on just one game.
Back in November, the Miami left tackle was part of an offensive line that allowed four sacks to Virginia, with the Hurricanes getting throttled in the process. It was a low point in what was otherwise an impressive senior year.
"One play I thought I heard a double call that wasn't the case, so, you know, I just had to do a better job judging the snap," Flowers told reporters at his NFL Combine press conference. "The system was a silent count so besides that I thought I played pretty well that game."
The 6-foot-6, 324-pound offensive tackle is rated as a top-5 player at his position and will likely be a first-round pick come draft day. His 37 bench reps were the most of any player at the combine.
"I enjoy the weight room, I love the weight room," he said. "I'll never stop getting stronger. The day I stop getting stronger is the day I stop lifting weights so [I] always look for improvement."
But some of the adversity Flowers has experienced – like that game against Virginia – has only made him more devoted to getting better. This past season he had to sit out two games with an undisclosed knee injury. Returning two weeks after surgery, he shut down Mario Edwards Jr., one of Florida State's best pass rushers.
"I enjoy run blocking," Flowers said. "Weaknesses: I'm still working on every part of my game. I think I still have my best ball ahead of me and haven't come close to touching it so I'm just working on everything."
Flowers knows as an offensive lineman he may not have the luxury of playing left tackle with the team that selects him. At this point, considering he began playing right tackle as a freshman Hurricane, he's open to wherever he's needed.
"I can play anything," Flowers affirmed. "Would I want to play [center]? I can play anything. I can play and am comfortable at left tackle, I can play left guard, right guard, anywhere. [I] can play center too."
Regardless of positioning, Flowers knows he can adapt to the NFL blocking schemes with relative ease.
Last season, Miami ranked 22nd out of all Division-I teams in rushing yards per attempt (5.3) and only allowed 21 sacks in 13 games. His presence surely helped.
"We run the zone block in Miami, we run man, that's what Miami does and I think that's why Miami's been successful in the NFL," Flowers said. "Our coaches do a good job emulating the stuff they're doing in the NFL and college so we ran… zone so I'll be fine wherever I go."