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Notes: Lions’ Trey Flowers dominating all facets of the game

Flowers was the only edge in 2018 with an 80.0+ grade in all facets of the game, per PFF.

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New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

While the Patriots weren’t ready to spend the dough to keep him around, the Detroit Lions saw something vital in Trey Flowers—and he’s got the grades to back it up.

Per Pro Football Focus, Flowers was the only edge defender last season with a grade of 80.0 higher and above in all four facets of the game, according to their system.

The Lions are hoping Flowers lives up to these grades after signing him to a hefty five-year, $90 million deal. He’s steadily improved throughout his career, finishing last year as one of five edge defenders to pass a 90.0 overall grade.

This morning, Flowers (and Damon Harrison Sr.) also made PFF’s list of top 50 players in the NFL entering the 2019 so far. They’ve announced numbers 50-31, and Nos. 30-21 will be revealed Tuesday, Nos. 20-11 Wednesday and Nos. 10-1 on Thursday.

From PFF”s Austin Gayle:

Flowers eats away at his good-not-great pass-rushing ability with his run defense and versatility, specifically his ability to rush the passer from ranging pre-snap alignments as mentioned above. He’s a movable chess piece with consistent, high-end play in several areas over the years, a piece that teams should and will jump to move into their system if given the opportunity this offseason.

  • Three Lions made Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit’s “All-Slow Team,” a team made only of players whose 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine was .05 seconds slower than the league average at their position.

  • In an interview with Bleacher Reporter, former Lions receiver Nate Burleson defends Calvin Johnson in his situation with the Lions: “I agree with him 100 percent.”

  • Per Good Morning Football/’s Peter Schrager, former Lions GM Martin Mayhew is interviewing for the vacant GM position with the Texans after Brian Gaine was fired last week. The Lions went 41-79 during his time as GM from 2008-2015. Mayhew’s the second to interview for the gig, joining former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer.

  • Former Lions DC Gunther Cunningham, who died on May 11 at 72 years old, was one of two winners of the 2019 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA). He was the Lions’ defensive coordinator from 2009-13 and a senior defensive assistant 2014-16 for his final years in the NFL.

  • Rick Wagner ranked third among right tackle in PFF’s “clutch” grade.

  • Some insight from Mike O’Hara on rookie running back Ty Johnson, who’s been picking his teammates’ brains trying to improve. “Even talking to the offensive linemen – how the play’s going to be run, the concept. You have running backs talking to linemen, linemen talking to offensive linemen, being cohesive as a unit.”

  • Annnnd some photos from Michigan International Speedway as Matt Patricia served as grand marshal for the FireKeepers Casino 400 Cup Series race. Red Wings legend Darren McCarty was the honorary pace car driver.

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