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NFL Draft 2014: Bengals select Marquis Flowers in 6th round

Marquis Flowers became the third Arizona player drafted during the 2014 NFL Draft.


The Cincinnati Bengals used the 36th pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft to select Arizona linebacker Marquis Flowers, the Wildcats' third player represented the 2014 draft.

Flowers measured in at 6'2, 231 pounds and began at Arizona as a safety under the Mike Stoops regime, where he sometimes struggled in coverage. But when Rich Rodriguez and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel moved Flowers to outside linebacker in the Wildcats' 3-3-5 scheme, Flowers talent began to show.

Generally speaking, Flowers is at his best with his body square to the line of scrimmage, where his nose for the ball, as his clutch performance in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl indicated.

In 2013, he was second on the team behind middle linebacker Jake Fischer with 93 tackles and led Arizona with 11 tackles for loss. He also had one pick six during his senior year and two fumble recoveries. Flowers excelled in the same blitzing linebacker role as a junior, picking off three passes and racking up 100 tackles -- he led Arizona with 13 tackles for loss in 2012 and that included 5.5 sacks.

Flowers reportedly put up speedy 40-yard dash times at Arizona's pro day, running in the 4.5s and even sniffing 4.4 territory. While he is capable of dropping into coverage, he's best playing in a zone scheme and using his vision to slip through blockers to help on run defense. As a smaller linebacker, he'll need to add weight to get off blocks, but he made up for his lack of size in college with solid tackling and an aggressiveness that help him chase plays down from behind.