With the 51st pick in the NFL 2011 draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End out of Clemson. After double dipping at defensive tackles last season, they double dipped at defensive end this year as well. Da'Quan Bowers is a top 10 talent at defensive end who had 15.5 sacks last year. He is more a power than a speed player, but is very well-rounded and versatile. He can get after the quarterback and is a great run stopper. In terms of talent and technique there's very little wrong with Da'Quan Bowers.
He will upgrade the Bucs defensive line immediately, and the combination of Da'Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price could be devastating for opponents. This team now has a lot of talent at defensive end after having very little talent at the position last year. He only had one year of supreme production in college, but matured a lot in his junior season. He had to deal with the death of his father and of his good friend and former Buccaneer Gaines Adams.
The problem is that Da'Quan Bowers has a pretty bad knee injury. Reportedly he has no cartilage in his knee and will need microfracture surgery at some point in the future. There are questions whether he'll even play out his rookie contract. Was the second round the right place to take that risk, that's the question. The fact that the Buccaneers selected him here means that they felt this was the right spot to take a risk on a great talent in Bowers. The Bucs have experience handling chronic knee injuries with Kellen Winslow, though. We'll have to see how that injury limits him in the NFL. Will we see this as the steal of the draft in 10 years, or as a talented player who couldn't overcome the injuries?