New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 17: Zay Flowers #4 of the Boston College Eagles lines up against the Maine Black Bears during the first half at Alumni Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are looking to take a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, they’re certainly taking stock of all their options. As of Wednesday, the team will have met with all four players projected to go in the first round at the position.

The final player they needed to check off their list was – at least logistically – the easiest player to meet with (one would think). That’s Zay Flowers, who played his college football less than half an hour away from Gillette Stadium at Boston College. Flowers visited the Patriots on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

  • While the Patriots hadn’t formally met with Flowers until now, that doesn’t mean they weren’t interested. There have been plenty of interactions between Flowers and the Patriots to this point. He played for their team at the Shrine Bowl back in January, and the Patriots attended his pro day last month.

    While there’s not much consensus as to which receiver will go off the board first this year, there are a group of four players viewed as the top of this class. That’s Flowers, Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State, Jordan Addison from USC, and Quentin Johnston from TCU. The Patriots met with Johnston at the Combine, and have reportedly met multiple times with both Smith-Njigba (including at his pro day) and Addison (who also visited Foxborough this week). For a full list of the Patriots’ pre-draft meetings, check out our Patriots Pre-Draft Meeting Tracker.

  • Of the four, Flowers seems to be the best fit stylistically for what the Patriots need. He can line up both in the slot and on the boundary, and would add an explosive ability after the catch the Patriots were lacking last year. With his speed, there are ways to build the offense with little overlap between him, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, and Tyquan Thornton.

    Despite inconsistent quarterback play at BC last year, Flowers caught 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns. He followed that performance up by running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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