#1 DE, Da’Quan Bowers (6’4 280 lbs.) – Clemson Tigers
Pass Rush Skills: Not enough speed to consistently bend and blow past linemen’s outside shoulders, but does have a ton of power to knock linemen on their heels. Gets off the line with a good initial burst. Has long arms and uses them effectively on swim and rip moves. Possesses great closing speed. Versatile as a pass rusher. Can rush from either left or right defensive end and is strong and quick enough to rush from the 3 technique. Uses good leverage and gets underneath linemen’s shoulder pads on his bull rush. After a low sack total in 2009, he led the nation in sacks in 2010 with 15.5.
Versus the run: Excellent against the run. Surprisingly hard to move off of his spot. Good lower body strength. Really excels at extending his arms and shedding blockers. Can come off the ball a little high at times. Needs to consistently maintain leverage out of his stance. Reads the run quickly and attacks the ball carrier. At defensive end, he does a great job at stringing plays out to the sideline. Is not fooled often on option read or misdirection plays. Powerful and sure tackler. Gives good effort. Will take down ball carriers by the shoe strings when he can quite get there.
Versatility: Can play up in down the line, on all four downs. Shows his best stuff when lined up at the strong defensive end position. May be able to play outside linebacker in the 3-4, but will need to show he can move freely in coverage.
Instincts/Motor: Solid instincts. Much improved from his 2009 season. Good motor but not great. Does chase down players well, and makes a lot of second, third effort sacks.
Intangibles: Came into college as one of the top prospects in the nation. No issues off the field. Won the Ted Hendricks Award. Nagurski Award, and was a Semi-Finalist for the Lombardi Award. Named ACC Player of the Year and 1st Team AP All-American.
Overall Stock: Da’Quan Bowers went from an hyped athletic freak, who disappointed 2009 to a hyped athletic freak, who dellivered in 2010. His development in the spring was tremendous. He will need to continue to work and get better. Many skeptics point to him and scream one year wonder. At the combine and his pro day, he’ll put up monster numbers. With Andrew Luck not entering the draft, Bowers has a shot to go number one overall.
NFL Comparison: Ray Edwards