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Buffalo Bills 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Spotlight: WR Zay Flowers

A dynamite player who is easy to love

Boston College v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Three months of an offseason often leads to some draft crushes for Buffalo Bills fans, just like every other fan base. Those crushes are part of what makes the three nights of the NFL Draft so fun — waiting on the edge of your seat hoping a team doesn’t scoop up the player you have clung to for the pre-draft cycle. That player finally makes it to your favorite team and the pipe dream is still alive.

Most agree that wide receiver remains a position of need on the Bills. The assembled group from last season disappointed even with another very good season by wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Useful utility players have been added in Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield to bolster the depth. But the fact remains that Gabe Davis is still easily the team’s number-two option at the position for the coming season. With that thought in mind, let’s have some fun with this scouting exercise. It’s the season for putting your name next to players no matter how much or little you’ve watched them.

Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers is a name to know from the end of the first round to the end of the second round. His media hype has been driven so much the past several weeks that it’s hard to know exactly how the league feels about his stock with less than two weeks to the draft. Flowers was a recent visitor of the team just a couple of days ago with a dinner and workout in Buffalo, according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero. The preliminary interest is certainly there.

Now that we know about Flowers’ top-30 visit with the Bills, let’s jump into his All-22 film to analyze just what the Bills would be getting in a talent like Flowers if they made him a Bill within the top two rounds of the draft.

Zay Flowers Scouting Report

Wide receiver Zay Flowers was a four-year contributor in the ACC. Flowers was the star of his team for multiple years, and he was part of a one-man wrecking crew for the Eagles that kept the team from completely sinking in 2022. Flowers never stopped competing or shut it down despite his team’s struggles, and there’s something to be said about his willingness to stick with the program in the new transfer portal era. Flowers is sure to make a team excited early on with his dynamite ball-in-hand abilities and upside as an NFL route runner. He has a different tenacity for a player of his size. Teams with size thresholds will turn away while teams who bet on talent and mental mindset will reap the reward.

Combine Testing: 4.42-second 40-yard dash; 35.5” vertical; 10’7” broad jump


  • Gets in defender’s blind spot and sends him into another dimension with shoulder feint
  • Quick gear-down on stop routes to force conflict for opposing corners
  • Dynamic with the ball in his hands to sidestep defenders and turn on the afterburners
  • Shows signs of catching the ball off his frame
  • Silky smooth getting through his routes; Everything is in his bag on each third of the route tree
  • Competitor at the catch point despite size deficiency


  • Would like to see him explode and commit to routes with complexity; He’s a dancer as a route runner who could be more specific in forcing the issue
  • Not challenged by press often; Teams were scared off by his speed, which won’t be a reality in the NFL; Will have to prove he can consistently maintain through physicality for 60 minutes
  • Drops on tape do show up with ball getting into his chest
  • Not a player who understands sight adjustments and finding zone pockets in the intermediate areas
  • Teams will have questions about him as a slot-only type due to size limitations

Why Zay Flowers fits the Bills

Flowers is the kind of player the Bills could utilize as a different flavor of weapon in their system. Flowers has the tool bag to contribute early on in his career with designed touches to keep the chains moving. Josh Allen could use an “easy button” option and a receiver who can create YAC on his own in a hurry is the perfect option. Flowers will have to get used to press at the next level, but the Bills can keep him safe in the slot for (at least) his rookie season. I think I’d be willing to roll the dice on him in the late first round if I’m the Bills. His size deficiencies are certainly there and he needs to grow even more as a route runner who forces the issue on opposing defensive backs, but you certainly can’t teach his explosiveness and competitive nature. In Flowers, the Bills would get a dog at the receiver position who can add a fresh face to the offense.