2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Da’Quan Bowers
It’s hard to find a better overall prospect than Da’Quan Bowers. He’s been a highly coveted defensive end for the last few years. As a recruit coming out of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High, he was the #1 overall recruit in the nation, and was described to be the closest thing to Reggie White and Bruce Smith by Rivals.com.
Bowers arrived on the Clemson campus after graduating early, and made an immediate impact, making many plays in the 2008 Spring Game as a true freshman. Bowers started immediately as a true freshman for the 2008 season.
While Bowers never really lit up the sack statistics in his freshman and sophomore years, he was still very effective overall, making numerous tackles for loss, and still disrupting the backfield. A knee injury in his sophomore year forced some struggles for him. He played some defensive tackle at times, often as a three technique in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
But it wasn’t until 2010 when Bowers made re-established his name as a sack artist. He recorded 25 tackles for loss, 15.5 of which were sacks. He broke out in a big way, and his stock won’t get any higher. On a Clemson team that’s struggling, and will most likely struggle in 2011, Bowers felt to need to leave for the NFL Draft in order to not jeopardize his draft stock.
Player Name: Da’Quan Bowers
Position: Defensive End
Arm: 33 1/8
Bowers has made quite the name for himself as a pure pass rusher. He’s a very effective bull rusher, who uses a fantastic swim move to get penetrate the offensive line. He can line up on the inside in certain situations, as his strength allows him to knock defenders off of the ball with his excellent snap judgement and awareness. Bowers moves well laterally, and plays well in pursuit. He is effective against the run, doing well in keeping outside contain, but his penetration is excellent for forcing the runner back inside. He’s a powerful tackler, and wraps up well when tackling the ball carrier. With a great defensive line coach, Bowers has all the physical tools to be one of the most dominating defensive ends to come out in the last five to ten seasons.
Bowers doesn’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses, which is a reason why he’s such a special player. But some coaches at the next level may want him to develop more pass rushing moves. His swim move and bull rush is just about all that’s a part of his repertoire and he may need to add an inside move to his game. At times he seems to lose focus, and will take plays off. He seems like he loses confidence somewhat easily. After giving up a big play, it takes him a few more plays to get back in a groove. While he’s quick, and athletic, it may be difficult for him to translate to the 3-4 OLB position, making him most likely restricted to the 4-3 scheme. Bowers does need to work on staying low, and maintaining leverage. He sometimes jumps straight up out of his stance, getting held at the point of attack, and being rendered useless.
As of now, Bowers’ value lies as a surefire Top Ten draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. It seems that his biggest competition for the #1 overall draft spot is fellow defensive lineman and penetrator Nick Fairley, from Auburn. Right now only three of the top ten teams in the draft currently run a 4-3 defense. The Browns may be making the switch to make it four, but if Carolina doesn’t take Bowers with the #1 overall pick, then Cincinnati will be hard pressed not to grab him with the fourth pick overall. I don’t see him sliding down out of the Top Five.
NFL Player Comparison: Michael Strahan