Da’Quan Bowers is one of the prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft that no one really has a good grip on. His he still a top ten pick? Is he still a top 20 pick? Is his knee okay? Is he a good enough athlete?
There are a lot of questions surrounding Bowers right now, but in my opinion, his free fall is unwarranted. Unless his knee provides tons of long-term concerns, I would still take him with a top ten pick, but right now that does not appear to be the case. Bowers’ highest “mock draft” spot right now seems to be 12 overall to the Minnesota Vikings, and some people feel he could fall out of the first round all together.
Only time will tell for Bowers, who has been a popular topic of conversation this offseason, and has also been all over the country visiting with NFL teams.
NFL Team Visits/Workouts
- Arizona Cardinals
- Buffalo Bills
- Carolina Panthers
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns
- Denver Broncos
- Minnesota Vikings
- New England Patriots
- Tennessee Titans
- Washington Redskins
It’s definitely worth noting that only two top ten teams did not bring in Bowers for a visit (Dallas, San Francisco), and both teams run a 3-4 defense. Bowers doesn’t appear to be a good fit as defensive end in a 3-4, so that’s no surprise there. However, every other top ten team has either had him in for a private visit or has independently worked him out, so there is definitely interest there. Even some of the 3-4 teams have looked at him.
Bowers had two pretty sub-par seasons for Clemson after being one of the most hotly contested high school recruits in the country, and then tragedy struck. Bowers lost his father as well as his mentor Gaines Adams in the same year tragically, and when that happened, something clicked for the former Tiger.
In his junior season, Bowers had 16 sacks and was one of the nation’s top defensive players, constantly causing problems for opposing offenses. To me, Bowers projects as the perfect base end in a 4-3 defense, and will play primarily on the strong side but can also slide in and play defensive tackle when needed.
The comparisons to Julius Peppers are extremely unwarranted. In Peppers, you’re talking about a 6’7″ 290 pound basketball player who had freakish athleticism. Bowers is 6’3″ 280 and doesn’t have freakish athleticism, but he does have solid production. He will need to ensure he will not need microfracture surgery on his knee going forward in order to be selected high, but there’s no way in my mind that he makes it past the 20th overall selection. If he does, it will be a huge upset.
Bowers didn’t measure out well at his April 4th pro day, and reportedly has drawn concerns from the physicals he has taken with teams.
He is a quicker than fast defensive end who uses instincts and power to get to the quarterback. Consistent run-stopper and just blossoming as a pass rusher. He will need to prove that he can be consistent getting to the quarterback off the edge in the NFL.
Here are some of Bowers’ college highlights courtesy of the official Clemson athletics site:
Finalist for the Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Award for 2010 … one of 15 Players to Watch for the Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award, one of just two defensive players … leads the nation in sacks through games of November 20 with 15.5, he is second in tackles for loss per game with 24 in 11 games … has already set Clemson record for sacks in a season by a defensive lineman, he broke the record of 12.5 set in 2006 by Gaines Adams … Adams and Bowers were close friends when Adams died suddenly in February of 2010 and he wears #93, the same number Adams wore at Clemson from 2003-06 … broke Gaines Adams record for consecutive games with a sack when he had two at Wake Forest … he now has at least one in nine straight games … needs one to set Clemson overall record for sacks in a season … Keith Adams (LB) had 16 in 1999 … has 43 career tackles for loss, sixth among active FBS players … has 19.5 career sacks, 9th among Active players … he is just a junior … has overcome death of his father, which took place during Clemson’s fall camp … gifted musician who has been guitarist in his father’s Gospel band for the last few years.
Follow us on twitter @NFLmocks and follow us on facebook