Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Weight: 280 lbs.
Arm Length: 33 1/8 in.
Hand Size: 10 1/4 in.
Bowers has the ability to become a franchise NFL defensive end with the potential to dominate against the run and pass. Appears capable of playing DE in different front alignments or inside at defensive tackle in pass rushing situations. Really came into his own as a pass rusher this fall terrorizing ACC opponents to the tune of 16 sacks. Can beat offensive lineman with his athleticism or power. A complete player against the run who can hold up at the point of attack or chase down plays from the backside. Bowers has been dealing with a knee injury, which has caused him to slide from once being considered a No. 1 overall candidate. But he is still one of this year’s truly elite prospects.
Da’Quan Bowers went to Clemson as a five star recruit and the number one high school defensive end in the nation. It could be said that Bowers underachieved until this past season when he exploded for a 16 sack season after totaling just four sacks in his previous two seasons combined. Questions about Bowers being a one-year wonder could easily be shoved aside, concerns about the health of his knee can’t be ignored. Knee injuries cost Bowers two games in 2009 and forced him into an arthroscopic procedure following the 2010 season. He didn’t workout at the combine and appeared severely limited at a pro day workout. Just how big of a red flag that knee is remains to be seen as it could require a procedure as significant as microfracture surgery. The team that selects Da’Quan Bowers will define him as either healthy or too talented to pass up. I would be much more comfortable with Bowers becoming a Lions if they classify him as the former.
Da’Quan Bowers is a complete defensive end with the ability to rush the passer and play the run. He is also versatile in his ability to play different spots along a defensive front. The ESPN scouting report rates Bowers “exceptional” in the category of versatility and offered the following commentary:
Excellent versatility for his size. Has experience playing right and left end. Is best-suited to play power end in a 4-3 but is very effective when moved inside, particularly rushing the passer as a 3-technique. Might also be able to fit as a 5-technique in a 3-4.
We saw how creative the defensive staff got with Ndamukong Suh last season, adding another versatile player like Bowers sends the alignment possibilities to the moon.
The National Football Post scouting report takes a more negative view on Bowers, even when ignoring the risk his knee presents. They note some concerns and areas for improvement without mentioning the health questions:
A strong, long-armed athlete with impressive closing speed for his size and natural anchor strength. However, needs to do a better job using his hands to shed blocks in both the run and pass game, gets held up far too often when engaged for me to give him an elite level grade.
SLR staff writer Chris Soran has already opined that the Lions should stay away from Bowers, do you agree?