Flowers Blooms in KC

Steve Helber - AP

After an unexpected run in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Chiefs were downright giddy knowing they could add one of the most talented cornerbacks in the second round. They did just that when they drafted Virginia Tech corner Brandon Flowers.

Though Flowers is just a hair under 5-foot-10, he plays big. He may not have the blazing speed NFL teams covet, but he can close on any receiver. He might not jump as high as Antonio Cromartie, but if you catch the ball he'll hit you. He's also a tackling machine, adept at blitzing the quarterback and supporting the run.

And if anyone knows something about young corners, it's Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards.

"He's kind of like Ronde Barber, Donnie Abraham, the kind of kids we drafted at Tampa Bay," Edwards said of his new cornerback. "He can play well in the system. He has great eyes. You have to be able to see, be able to anticipate. He has very good instincts to play the position."

You also have to be confident to play in the big show, and Flowers isn't short on that element. Saturday he told the media he studies the game and is always prepared. He's a thinker, quick to analyze and attack on the field. He takes pride in studying film.

"It helps a lot," Flowers said of his film sessions. "You feel like you're two steps ahead of everybody else. You're playing more anticipation football than reaction football."

Those are words coming from someone who knows he'll get a shot at becoming a starter in 2008. There isn't any question the Chiefs need two starting corners out of the draft. With Patrick Surtain aging, Kansas City had to infuse some young talent in the secondary.

"They're putting a big test on me," said Flowers. "I want to show them that I'm ready to come in right away and play. They wouldn't have drafted me if they didn't think I could play. So they are definitely counting on me."

The Chiefs were fortunate to have found Flowers at the top of the second round. Some draft boards ranked him as a late first-round pick, and right before the Virginia Tech corner went to the Chiefs, there was a mini-run on his position.

"This is a guy who I frankly didn't think would make it to us," said Chiefs Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich. "We thought there were a couple of teams in the bottom of the first round who had targeted him, but because there were so many trades in the second half of that round it was clear people were going to go need."

Need was something that motivated the Chiefs in drafting Flowers. Now it'll be up to coaching staff to see if he can blossom into a starter.

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