FOXBORO, Mass. — The comparisons between Deatrich Wise and Trey Flowers come naturally.
Both went to Arkansas, play defensive end and were selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the NFL draft. Wise, who went 131st overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, is embracing the similarities.
“We both have long arms, very relentless and aggressive players,” Wise said Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “He’s a little bit stronger than I am right now, but we both have similarities in our style of play.”
Wise, at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, is bigger than Flowers, who’s 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, but they likely will fill similar roles in the Patriots’ defense. Flowers played defensive end on early downs and kicked inside to rush the passer at defensive tackle on passing downs. Wise likely will do the same, and he said he’s comfortable playing inside.
It makes sense that Wise has been trying to lean on Flowers — who had seven sacks last season and added 2.5 more in the playoffs — as much as he can.
“It’s been awesome,” Wise said. “He’s a mentor, and the advice he’s given me is just take one day at a time. Don’t try to think ahead, be in the now. He’s been helping me out here and there with the plays or with what I have to do, and it’s been great. …
“I try to follow him a little bit. I try not to be too close to him, but I try to follow him to see what he does and see how he works and do the same.”
Wise and Flowers were Razorbacks teammates from 2012 to 2014. Flowers came back to Arkansas last season before their game against Florida and addressed his former team.
“It was a very passionate speech,” Wise said. “He’s a very aggressive, passionate player. Definitely when he talks, he gets everybody going. He had some of our coaches in tears. It was great. We also won that game, too, so we came out on fire. Very fiery guy. That’s what I can remember — very fiery.”
That’s a different side of Flowers than the New England media usually sees. Wise joked he might have said too much.
“I know he’s very quiet off the field, but when he needs to speak up, he’s loud and heard,” Wise said.
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN