2011 NFL Draft: Da'Quan Bowers a Round 1 Risk, Mason Foster a Round 2 Safe Bet

Austin BrinesContributor IIApril 14, 2011

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 06: Linebacker Mason Foster #40 safety Nate Fellner #29 of the Washington Huskies tackle quarterback Darron Thomas #1 of the Oregon Ducks as Thomas crosses the goal line for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks won the game 53-16. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Many mock drafts have the Detroit Lions selecting Da'Quan Bowers with the 13th overall selection and Mason Foster with their second-round pick. These two selections would help bolster the Lions defense but also leave one of their biggest holes, cornerback, wide open.

However, the upside of these two players may be greater than the hole we need a stopgap for at cornerback. An opportunity to draft players like these does not come every year, and Bowers and Foster are two very good players.

They have many differences starting with the fact that while one is a big risk, the other is a sure thing. I will go over the scouting reports for each player and tell you why they fit so well with the Lions.

Da'Quan Bowers

The 6'4" junior out of Clemson had 15.5 sacks last season and was considered a surefire top-five pick at season's end. Sadly for him, he was injured and is now considered a risk due to that fact.

The potential is there for a stud of a 4-3 defensive end with extraordinary run stopping skills to go along with above-average pass-rushing skills. 

He is a very big risk though, as he is by far not a sure thing to succeed. The injury might be a blessing in disguise for the Lions, as they could pick up another top-five talent with a later pick. Bowers could add great skills to the already talented Lions front line.

Imagine Bowers, Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Kyle Vandenbosch, Lawrence Jackson, Cliff Avril and Turk McBride terrorizing QBs for years to come. If Prince and Smith are both off the board, the Lions might turn to this potential superstar with their 13th pick. 

But remember, he does not come without risk. Buyers beware.

Mason Foster

The 6'1" linebacker out of Washington is as sure of a thing as almost anyone in this draft. Last year, as team captain, Foster made 163 tackles. Yeah, you read that right. He had 163 Tackles in a 13 game season. WOW.

Foster did not miss one game in college and was his team's captain. A great character guy, he would fit right into the Lions' locker room.

Ever since not being heavily recruited out of high school, he has played with a chip on his shoulder. He is more suited for offensive linebacker than middle linebacker but is still very versatile. As a guy who can consistently hover around 100 tackles, he would bring us the second of three linebacker spots.

With Deandre Levy already a solid option at MLB, Foster would allow us to use Bobby Carpenter and Ashlee Palmer to fill out the third linebacker position. That situation is much better then both of the aforementioned starting.

Foster's size, strength and tackling ability will be very useful in Honolulu Blue.The sure-fire pick of Foster in the second round would greatly improve the Lion's chances for 2011 and beyond.

As you can see, Foster and Bowers are both very good players with very different auras around them entering the draft. Both are quality players who have the potential to be All-Pros. One is as close to a sure thing as you can get, while the other is a hit-or-miss kinda guy.

With these two picks, the Lions could take a huge step towards being a playoff team in 2011. Thanks for reading, and as always, please give me your input in the comments below. Let me know what you think of these two players!

Go Lions!