If the NFL Draft Advisory Board's evaluation of Arkansas defensive lineman Trey Flowers was on target, a four-year rookie contract worth at least $2.5 million probably could have been his. Flowers revealed Monday that he received a third-round draft grade from the NFLDAB, and the last pick of the third-round in 2013, Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden, signed a deal for $2.68 million over four years with the Tennessee Titans.
Flowers, however, is returning to Arkansas for his senior year and will be looking for more when the time comes to turn pro.
"I still have goals on and off the field," Flowers said, according to arkansasmatters.com. "On the field I am excited about the program being built." He also said he thinks another year under head coach Bret Bielema will help him. "I got a third round grade back. Under Coach Bielema I can improve that stock grade."
Flowers need only look to Missouri's Kony Ealy for an example of his decision being the right one. Ealy, also a defensive end, received a third-round grade last year, but improved his draft stock by returning to school. Ealy will now enter the 2014 draft as a more highly regarded prospect.
"Last Friday afternoon I flew over to Alabama and myself and Coach Herbert sat down, went through about 15 documents with Trey and his mom and dad, the information that I gathered for him to make an informed decision," said Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, "and thankfully he notified us shortly thereafter and said he wanted to maintain and pursue his dream of playing and chasing his dreams here at Arkansas for another year. He'll be able to get his degree and hopefully move his draft status that much more for the future."
Flowers made 13.5 tackles for loss in 2013, with five sacks, ranking among the SEC leaders in tackles for loss. He will be among the top returning pass rushers in the league next year.
And with any luck, he'll rate no worse than a second-round pick.