2011 NFL Draft Results: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Take Chance on Da'Quan Bowers

Dustin HullAnalyst 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

It's clear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to shore up their defensive line as much as possible. They did even more of that on night two of the draft.

After drafting defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price with their first two selections of last year's draft, the Bucs chose a defensive end, Adrian Clayborn, not only in the first round, but also in the second with Da'Quan Bowers.

Bowers was a potential top ten pick before he had surgery on a knee that was deemed to be a microfracture surgery. He had a poor pro day at Clemson, and his draft stock dropped quicker than you can say "Howard's Rock."

So the possible top ten pick is now a Buc, one that Tampa Bay picked 51st overall. Bowers has good size at 6'3"-280lbs, and also has good speed to go with it.

Something that had impressed scouts wasn't only his physical prowess, but also his gained maturity and work ethic over the past year.

NFL teams must have known something that the so-called draft "experts" didn't. ESPN had Bowers ranked as the 22nd best player on the board, and the overall sixth best defensive end.

With that said, Bowers ended up out of the top 50, and was the 11th defensive end taken, showing that NFL teams were more concerned than first thought about his knee.

So with Clayborn's erb's palsy and Bowers' knee issues, the Buc have a couple of extreme hit-or-miss prospects as their first two picks of the 2011 draft.

Bowers has incredible upside, a ceiling higher than any prospect picked near him. Being drafted this late may put a fire under Bowers, not that he really needed it.

He could go his whole career with a chip on his shoulder, and if he gets healthy, you could be looking at one very dangerous football player, one good against both the run and pass.

Bowers will also give the Bucs versatility, being able to play in a 4-3 or 3-4, three-technique or five-technique. All-around, when healthy, he could be a future Pro Bowl caliber player.

With all of that said, Bucs fans should be excited. With the injuries, this could be a disappointing pick for Tampa Bay. Or it could end up a great one.