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Tag:Da'Quan Bowers
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:31 am

Big surprise - Panthers focusing on QBs for No. 1

Just as he did during the Combine, Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera has highlighted a group of eight prospects for the No. 1 overall pick.

He cited three quarterbacks among those prospects -- Auburn's Cam Newton, Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and, perhaps surprisingly, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.

Though there are another five players potentially in play for the top pick -- presumably defensive linemen Marcell Dareus, Da'Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley, cornerback Patrick Peterson and wide receiver A.J. Green -- the Panthers' focus seems pretty intent on finding another quarterback to compete with (and potentially replace) incumbent starter Jimmy Clausen, at least according to a report from Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Person notes that the Panthers "could go after" one of the five "other" picks in the draft, but only if "If the Panthers decide to bring in a veteran quarterback through a trade or free agency, assuming the lockout is resolved early enough."

Clearly, Person believes that the Panthers are acknowleding that quarterback is the number one priority and will be addressed. 

Person quotes Rivera as saying, “We have a number of positions that we've identified as needs. We're trying to get to that point where we can start filling those needs as the time is appropriate,” Rivera said. “If you can fill a need through free agency, we're going to do it. If we have to go through the draft, we'll do it. If we've got to make a trade, we'll do it.”

Should Carolina find a way to add a veteran quarterback, which is, of course, impossible until a new CBA is agreed to, the Panthers have options with the first pick.

If not, they'll be choosing between Newton and Gabbert with their first pick.

Regardless of what Rivera is saying publicly, Mallett is very much fighting just to stay in the first round, according to multiple sources inside the league,  much less contend for No. 1 overall honors.

Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Dropping Like They're Cold

The natural response to my blog post listing some potential surprise top ten picks earlier this week is to inquire who might be the highly-rated players most likely to drop into the mid-first round?

There seems to be four players almost certain to hear their name called in the first ten picks on Thursday night, April 28th at Radio City Music Hall: LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton (though some still can't admit it), Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, and Alabama DL Marcell Dareus.

The large drop in value at wide receiver after Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones makes it very likely to be called to the Radio City stage in the top third of the first round.

That leaves four spots up for grabs in the coveted top ten. One or two of these five players will land there, but unfortunately, at least one will not. They are listed in order of least likely to stay in the top ten.

1. Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers

If new Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is convinced by General Manager Brian Xanders, VP/Football Operations John Elway, or team doctors that Bowers is not the next Julius Peppers, then Bowers could be this year's version of Derrick Morgan.

Like Bowers, Morgan was the ACC Defensive Players of the Year in his junior season but fell to Tennessee with the 16th overall pick in the draft because he lacks great explosiveness as a pass rusher. Bowers was already hearing that talk before his knee injury forced him to put off working out until his private pro day April 1st.

A strong campus workout could help Bowers stay in the top ten, but enough teams could have concerns about his knee that he may fall to Minnesota at #12 or Jacksonville at #16 (again, mirroring Morgan's fall).

2. North Carolina DE Robert Quinn

Sitting out a year because of his dealings with agent is not the reason Quinn could be available to Houston or Minnesota in the mid-first round. Teams may have concerns about a tumor still located at the base of his brain, although he has not had any episodes since he had surgery on the tumor after his high school career was complete.

Despite the continual need of pass rushers for multiple teams in the top ten, similar players (Shawne Merriman, Demarcus Ware, Kamerion Wimbley) ended up on the outside looking in despite their potential--and they have not had the medical issue with which Quinn, unfortunately, must deal.

3. Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

Amukamara has been considered a potential pick to Dallas at #9, San Francisco at #7, and even Cincinnati at #4. But the strength of the defensive line class and regularity that corners land in the mid-first (Darrelle Revis, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Marcus Trufant) could allow Houston to snap him up with the 11th overall selection.

His sub-4.5 forty at the Combine could help his cause, though watching position drills in Indianapolis closely revealed the somewhat stiff hips some teams fear when considering a corner in the top ten.

4. Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert

Until we actually see Gabbert throw at his pro day next week, it's tough to project where he will go. However, this year is starting to get that 2005 (Aaron Rodgers) , 2007 (Brady Quinn) or even 2010 (Jimmy Clausen) feel, when a guy who was thought to be in the conversation for the overall number one pick ends up falling out of the top ten.

Even teams picking early like San Francisco, Tennessee, and Washington in need of a passer may pass on Gabbert if they think second-third round prospects like Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton present better value.

Gabbert has good reason to think he'll stay in the top ten, like Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinart managed to do in recent years despite being questioned by many. Some teams have him the number one quarterback prospect on their board because of his size, athleticism, and arm strength. And the needs of the Niners, Titans, and Redskins--or another team trading up into the top ten to grab him--could win the day.

Next Thursday's workout will be as big as Sam Bradford's was last year in terms of his draft status.

5. Auburn DT Nick Fairley

There is no doubt about Fairley's athleticism; his Combine and pro day workouts showed exceptional footwork for a man his size. But junior college prospects and "one-year wonders" are often considered risky prospects, so teams preferring Alabama's Marcell Dareus as the draft's top defensive tackle or needing a receiver or cornerback may decide to go in those directions rather than taking Fairley in the single digits.

I listed Fairley last because it seems unlikely Fairley is available to Minnesota or St. Louis because of the need for athletic big men in today's NFL, especially considering his fit in Tennessee and teams like Cleveland, Buffalo, and Denver moving from a base 4-3 or playing more four-man fronts. But it's something to watch for...

--Contributed by Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 12:05 pm

Bowers schedules private workout for NFL teams

Joe Flanagan of BTI Sports sent out an e-mail to media members today stating that his client, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, will have his own workout instead of participating with the rest of his former teammates in the Tigers' scheduled pro day.

"Da'Quan Bowers will hold a private workout at Clemson's campus on April 1, 2011, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Da'Quan is eagerly looking forward to his opportunity to work out in front of NFL coaches and decision-makers.

Recent reports that Da'Quan's knee has not healed as well as expected are 100% inaccurate. Contrary to those reports, Da'Quan has progressed well ahead of schedule."

Bowers,'s No. 2 overall rated player after a very strong junior season (26 TFL, 15.5 sacks) where he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defender, stated at the Combine that he was "100%" but would not work out in order to get the same workout schedule available to all of his healthy compatriots.

Certainly team doctors at the Combine gave teams their opinion on Bowers' knee last week, but meniscus surgeries are typically not something that lead to long-term problem with the efficiency of today's medical procedures.

Bowers will likely have to go back to Indianapolis on April 8 with other prospects (the list is not released to the public) with recent injuries/surgeries to get a medical "re-check" so teams have the most up-to-date information available.

A thumbs-up from doctors and great workout at Clemson April 1 is needed to prevent any late April's Fools jokes at Bowers' expense when the draft begins nearly four weeks later.

--Contributed by Senior Analyst Chad Reuter
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:47 pm

Quinn's answers could push him ahead of Bowers

Talent evaluators who have done the tape on defensive ends Robert Quinn and Da'Quan Bowers know that the former Tar Heel is the more explosive of the two pass rushers.

That fact is the primary reason why Quinn could leapfrog Bowers as the draft's top defensive end and potentially even the No. 1 pick in the draft.

There are two primary areas of concern with Quinn -- each of which he addressed in today's interview at the Combine.

The most important is his health.

As this excellent article by Andew Miller of the South Carolina Post and Courier explains, during his senior season in high school, Quinn underwent emergency surgery to deal with a brain tumor. The tumor, which was found to be benign, was causing Quinn headaches and even blackouts. It too close to Quinn's brain to be removed completely, so it remains a cause of concern for NFL teams.

Quinn, however, is not concerned. He takes a CT scan every six months now and finds himself "falling asleep" each inside the chamber when asked to do so. He also claims that he hasn't had a headache "since high school [following the surgery]," as well.

The other concern with Quinn, of course, is the fact that he, along with defensive tackle Marvin Austin and wide receiver Greg Little, was suspended for the entire 2010 season.

Scouts relayed to me that the UNC staff had told them Quinn was "supposed to be a very good kid" but some questioned whether the fact that Quinn is still viewed as a top prospect despite the suspension made him less concerned about the impact his suspension had on the Tar Heels' disappointing 2010 season.

Quinn seemed surprised when asked if he cared about his suspension.

"I definitely cared," he said. "Watching the whole season, especially when UNC played LSU and I went down to support them, seeing our guys run on to the field, in the middle of the game I was about in tears in the stands. I made a selfish mistake and couldn't be out there..."

Posted on: February 26, 2011 2:47 pm

Bowers missing opportunity by not working out

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will not win himself fans among scouts with his decision to not work out at the Combine despite the fact that he characterized himself as "100%" and "willing to compete with anyone, any where" in his Q/A session with the media.

Bowers underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscsus in his right knee following the season and explained that he "wanted as much time to prepare for [the workouts] as others."

The reality is that despite leading the country with 15.5 sacks, scouts have questions about Bowers' burst.

Bowers benefitted from an aggressive Clemson defensive scheme which often utilized twists and stunts, freeing him up to rack up sacks while his defensive tackles absorbed blockers. Bowers, himself, acknowledged the play of his teammates who "did all of the dirty work."

By not working out here, Bowers risks losing some of the buzz his monster junior season had created. North Carolina's Robert Quinn and Missouri's Aldon Smith, in particular, are expected to work out exceptionally well and have each demonstrated a greater first step as pass rusher than Bowers.

Bowers' Pro Day is March 10.

Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:41 am

Did John Fox leak Broncos plan for No. 2 overall?

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox may have unintentionally leaked the direction his team will be going with the No. 2 overall pick.

The Broncos need help on the defensive line. Ranking dead last in the NFL in total defense, including 31st against the run will do that to a club. The team is also transitioning back to a 4-3 defense.

Fox sound excited about the impending healthy return of pass rusher Elvis Dumervil. He twice cited the fact that Dumervil "had 17 sacks" and erased any doubt that Dumervil would be returning back to defensive end, as he had played prior to former head coach Josh McDaniels' switching the Broncos to a 3-4 defense.

The surprise came moments later when he described his feelings about Broncos' 2009 first round pick Robert Ayers, a defensive end at the University of Tennessee, who struggled the past two seasons as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Fox, when asked what he thought of Ayers and how he fit in with his defensive scheme, "I saw him [Ayers] as a 4-3 defensive end. We've got him penciled in as a defensive end. I have the utmost confidence that he'll be a productive player for us this season."

If Fox does, indeed, have the "utmost confidence" in Ayers and is comfortable with Dumervil's return after a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him all of last year, the Broncos will likely be looking at defensive tackle with the No. 2 overall pick rather than defensive end Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson or Robert Quinn from North Carolina.

Fox wouldn't go into specifics about this year's defensive tackle group, but seemed less than enthusiastic about his team's current defensive tackles.

Auburn's Nick Fairley and Alabama's Marcell Dareus are considered by most scouts to be top five prospects. Both have the size and physicality to be an immediate upgrade inside for the Broncos.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 3:26 pm

Bowers will only lift at combine

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will not participate in positional drills and will only lift at this week's combine in Indianapolis, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The news comes as no surprise, considering Bowers had surgery after the end of the season to repair a partially torn meniscus. The junior is the top-ranked defensive end by, and our No. 3-rated player overall.

The surgery isn't expected to affect Bowers' draft stock, as it's considered a routine procedure and he should be able to work out fully at Clemson's pro day. It was originally scheduled for March 11, but is currently listed as "TBD."

Bowers led the nation with 15.5 sacks in 2010 and is believed to be one of the prospects the Carolina Panthers are considering with the No. 1 overall pick. Despite his big sack numbers, Bowers is actually considered stronger against the run, and could be looked at as an end for 3-4 teams.

--Derek Harper
Posted on: February 19, 2011 1:01 pm

Fox makes it official, Denver switching to 4-3

Once the Denver Broncos hired John Fox to be their head coach many of us presumed he'd be bringing along his 4-3 defensive front to the AFC West.

On Friday, he made it official, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

"We're going to be a multiple-front defense, but I think we'll make the commitment to the 4-3. The transition from the 3-4 to 4-3 is much easier than going from the 4-3 to 3-4, I will say that. So we feel pretty confident about that switch."

The Broncos had long run the 4-3 alignment under Mike Shanahan, but switched to the 3-4 under Josh McDaniels. Under the tutelage of then-defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the Broncos appeared to make early strides in the odd man front in 2009, but the team dropped from the No. 7 ranked overall defense two years ago to dead last this past season.

Fox is fortunate in his timing. Not only are the Broncos in prime position to add a defensive star with the No. 2 overall pick of the draft, they'll also be getting former NFL sacks champion Elvis Dumervil back this season. He missed all of last year with a torn pectoral muscle.

I currently project the Broncos to select defensive tackle Nick Fairley in the first round. My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter also has them taking the Auburn star.

Fairley, Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers each possess the size and strength to provide immediate help in Denver. The possibility also exists that the Broncos may have to consider LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson should they allow Champ Bailey to leave via free agency.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or