Posted on: April 1, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2011 1:29 pm
Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, listed by some as a potential candidate to go No. 1 overall, may see his stock slip after a rather disappointing performance during his much-anticipated pro day workout Friday.
Bowers, according to sources on the scene, measured in at 6034 (6-3 1/2) and 276 pounds and was clocked at 4.91 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That time, coming off a hand-held stopwatch from a league scout, would have placed Bowers 21st among the 24 defensive ends tested this year in the event at the scouting combine. Only Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal (5.16), TCU's Wayne Daniels (5.03) and Boise State's Ryan Winterswyk (4.96) were slower when tested in Indianapolis.
To be fair, the 40-yard dash is hardly the end-all, be-all measurement for football players, especially defensive linemen, who will rarely (if ever) be asked to run 40 yards in a straight line on a football field. It is also important to note that Bowers is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The surgery kept Bowers sidelined for the combine agility tests and Clemson's initial pro day on March 10.
Unfortunately for Bowers, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5-rated player overall, the lack of explosiveness demonstrated in his slow times in the 40-yard dash were also evident in his broad jump and vertical jump. In these events, Bowers tested at 9'2" and 34.5", respectively. These results were better in comparison to other defensive ends tested at the combine, but were characterized by the scout as "average for the position."
Another scout characterized Bowers' workout as a whole as "sluggish."
I've argued in the past that Bowers' eye-popping totals in 2010 (including a nation-leading 15.5 sacks) had been more of a function of an aggressive Clemson defense rather than the speed typically associated with highly productive pass rushers. Bowers, while powerful and possessing good lateral quickness, simply is not a quick-twitch athlete with a high degree of explosiveness. It is a primary reason why league sources characterized Bowers as an "overrated" defensive end in the 2011 draft.
Not surprisingly, considering his game-tape, Bowers was at his best during the shuttle drills. He was particularly fast in the 3-cone drill (6.95), demonstrating his ability to change directions fluidly and the acceleration he used so effectively in closing on quarterbacks last season. Only three defensive ends tested in Indianapolis tested faster in the 3-cone drill this year -- Texas' Sam Acho (6.69 seconds), Fresno State's Chris Carter (6.88) and Wisconsin's J.J. Watt (6.88). Of the three, only Watt (6-6, 290 pounds) is heavier than Bowers.
The fast times in this event, which requires heavy pivoting of the knee and acceleration, provide some evidence that Bowers' knee has healed.
That's good news for Bowers. However, it also limits his ability to pawn off his less-than-explosive measureables as a result of the knee not yet being fully healed.
Bowers' disappointing workout won't take the place of his dominant junior season in the eyes of scouts. It could, however, lead to a tumble on draft day, especially considering how closely rated Bowers has been in comparison to fellow pass rushers Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan, Watt and others.
Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:23 pm
My fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I each get the pleasure of speaking with Lauren Shehadi each week as we prepare loyal CBS readers and viewers of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Chad discussed this week's Risers and Fallers, highlighting a receiver from the WAC who I'm quite high on. Among other things, Chad also explains why West Virginia safety Robert Sands left scouts a bit disappointed during his recent Pro Day workout.
Lauren and I spoke about several of the top defensive linemen in the draft. We began the conversation breaking down the differences between Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley and also why I (and more importantly scouts) were nervous about Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers before concerns about his knee.
Lauren is always kind enough to ask a question about some lower level prospects that I don't think are getting enough national attention. I mention three players (all defensive tackles) this week -- one of whom I fully expect to make the first round. The other two, however, are players that few college fans have had an opportunity to watch, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see wind up as Top 100 selections.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:31 am
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 4, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 12:05 pm
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, NFLDraftScout.com'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 NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:47 pm
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.
Posted on: February 26, 2011 2:47 pm
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.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:41 am
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 19, 2011 1:01 pm
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.
As always for the very best in NFL draft coverage, be sure to keep the page refreshed at NFLDraftScout.com