2011 NFL Draft: Da'Quan Bowers Falls Out of the First Round

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 29, 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' Knee Issue Results in Free-Fall

Da'Quan Bowers was thought to be a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick as late as February, but that was before his knee surgery and subsequent poor medical report.

While most agreed Bowers was going to make a full recovery, it was thought his knee could need more surgery in the future and that scared teams away from drafting him in the first round.

Team after team passed on Bowers in the first round, and it can not have been a good night for the defensive end out of Clemson.

Despite all of his accomplishments last year and all of his athleticism, no team felt he was worth a first-round pick given his knee issue.

The knee issue is what it is, so we will take a look at where he could go in the second round.

The Cleveland Browns are a possible destination, as is any team who he would have interested in the first round who did not draft a pass rusher.

The hints Bowers was going to fall have been in the air for weeks, and as the draft drew closer, the reports grew more frequent. While there are a lot of smoke screens put up around the draft, it still is true that where there is smoke there is fire.

From Profootballtalk.com:

According to (NFL Network’s Albert) Breer, Bowers has been completely eliminated from at least one team’s draft board, presumably due to concerns about his knee injury and the future possibility of microfracture surgery.

The team that has scratched Bowers—not just dropped his “draft grade”—is reportedly picking in the top half of the first round.

The fact the report states Bowers has been "dropped" does not mean a whole lot because the team in question may not have had him rated high to begin with. Without knowing who did the draft grade, it is just a report.

Bowers has a lot of upside, but the potential for one bad hit to the knee to end his career is a risk every football player takes.

For teams to hold this over Bowers’ head seems kind of silly.

Robert Quinn could come in, play a handful of great games and then have his knee shredded. If the knee does not heal right, his career is over and the team who drafted him is in the same boat they believe Bowers already is in.

Some team will take a chance on Bowers in the second round. If they did not, I truly would be surprised.

MUST READ: Live NFL Draft Blog Plus Grading The Picks