I’m going to start a new series here at NFLmocks taking a look at players I think could be in for breakout years (Better title suggestions are welcomed). The first player I am going to look at is Navorro Bowman, who was a standout linebacker at “linebacker U” (Penn State) in 2008, and 2009. At one time Bowman considered a potential first round pick. But due to some injury concerns and “character issues” Bowman feel to the third round in the N.F.L. draft where he was scooped up by the San Francisco 49ers.
Heading into the 2010 NFL draft, Bowman was considered a very athletic linebacker with only adequate size and strength. Bowman’s athleticism was unquestioned. He is a passionate football player on the field with side line to sideline ability.
In 2008, he had 106 tackles 4 sacks, 2 FF, and an INT.
In 2009, 93 tackles, 3 sacks, and two interceptions.
Although Bowman was considered a natural fit as a 43 linebacker, the 49ers drafted him in the third round of the 2010 N.F.L draft to play next to Patrick Willis in their 34 front.
This past season in San Francisco, Bowman appeared in all 16 games of the season, registering 46 tackles. Forty-six tackles is not super impressive, but not bad for a rookie linebacker who doesn’t make any starts. It was the 7th most by any San Fran 49ers player last year.
Bowman had a rough start to his training camp last year, but by the time the season was about to start, Bowman was drawing comparisons to Patrick Willis with his ability to instantly correct his mistake, and a profound wisdom.
he’s getting high praise from difficult-to-impress coaches and he’s been drawing comparisons to the All-galaxy Patrick Willis. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said the Penn State grad can correct a mistake almost instantly, and Bowman, with his resonate voice and strong demeanor, seems to possess a wisdom well beyond his years.
This year, I believe Bowman will be handed the reigns as the starting ILB the 49ers defense if Takeo Spikes departs from the 49ers when free agency begins. I think Bowman will make the most of the situation. He’ll have had a year to learn the 49ers defense and a year of N.F.L. coaching and training. In his limited time last year, he showed the athleticism and excellent football instincts that made many consider him a first round pick prior to last year’s draft. I expect a big year for Bowman with him eclipsing a 100 tackles, a few sacks, and above average pass coverage and providing the NFC West with nightmares of the scary talent at linebacker the 49ers will have accumulated..
Navorro Bowman, my first break out player candidate.
What are your thoughts in Bowman in for a big year?
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