NFL Draft 2011: Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson's Defensive Man

Jacqueline KirbyContributor IIIApril 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Da'Quan Bowers has been working to make himself a household name since he was in high school. rated Bowers as the top prospect coming out of high school before he even put on that orange Clemson uniform and took the field at Death Valley.  

I don't think anyone had been disappointed in Bowers' success at Clemson until his recent knee injury. Originally projected to go No. 1 in the draft, Bowers is now predicted to go somewhere in the Top 10.  His draft stock has fallen considerably since February, but hopefully he can use the next few weeks to bring it back up.

The knee injury was supposed to be the cause for his less-than-stellar performance at Clemson's pro day, even though Bowers claimed he had fully recovered.  His story actually checked out when he had the knee examined earlier this week.  

Unfortunately, this just gives teams more doubt.  If his knee was fully healthy, he should have performed better. 11 of 14 tight ends ran as fast or faster than Bowers at the combine.  

Reportedly, a NFL front office executive told ESPN's Adam Schefter that he wasn't thrilled with Bowers performance on Pro Day as well as when he watched Bowers' game tapes.  

Bowers was defended by the GM of the Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff, who said that Bowers wouldn't be running a 40 during a game as a defensive end anyways, so what did that stat really matter? 

When I spoke with Bowers in 2009 during his Sophomore year at Clemson, he told me that, if he didn't go pro, he wanted to be a coach.  We will see on April 28 if he gets his first career choice.