NFL Draft 2011: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson 20th Overall to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Draft 2011: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson 20th Overall to Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay’s needs:
- Defensive End
- Middle Linebacker
- Outside Linebacker
- Running Back
Da’Quan Bowers is who again?
By the numbers:
Height: 6’3 3/8”
2010 Stats: 67 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble.
Career Stats 150 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 43.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble.
By the word:
For a year, the best defensive end in college football. Bowers is long, strong, and seems to be improving. He’s not elitely quick, but rather gets to the quarterback a la Mario Williams—through the offensive tackle. Two months ago, he seemed like a viable pick first overall. He falls because of concerns over the health of his knee, and word that he may not necessarily be the elite sack artist his 15.5 sack 2010 would suggest. Bowers is not quick-twitch, and he‘ll need to be part of a system that accentuates his power, that doesn’t ask him to consistently beat tackles one on one, to put up 10 plus sacks as a pro.
Why Bowers is the pick:
Again, from NFLSoup.com:
The Bucs used their first two picks in last year’s draft on defensive tackles (Gerald McCoy, Brian Price), but could use some help on the end. The team tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for 30th in the league last season with sacks, with just 26 as a team. They seem likely to use their first-round pick this year (20th overall) on an end like Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Heyward, Robert Quinn or J.J. Watt.
Or Da’Quan Bowers, who when the preceding was written was in no way presumed to be available at 20.
Pairing Bowers with McCoy and the hopefully soon to emerge Price would give the Buccaneers an enormous line—one capable of getting after the passer (as noted, a huge need) and stopping the run.
Who else was considered:
1. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa — Clayborn comes with medical concerns (not to mentioned a few off the field red flags), but is a big, aggressive end very much in the mold of Bowers.
2. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado — Other than Bowers, Smith is probably the top talent on the board right now. Character and work ethic concerns have influenced his slide.
3. Cameron Herward, DE/DT, Ohio State — Not the pass rusher that Bowers and Clayborn are, but he’s more versatile and potentially more reliable.
4. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona — A hot property who’s not yet totally won me over, but has an excellent motor and strong character. Plus, he looks like Clay Matthews.
5. Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia — A 270-pound pass rusher with a good first step, Houston is intriguing but perhaps not quite flexible enough to be cover in Tampa’s scheme.
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