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Da'Quan Bowers has not healed yet - bad news for him, good news for the Bucs

I've written on Bowers before his Pro Day happened a couple of days ago, and his actual Pro Day made the post even more relevant. Bowers was timed running a 4.9 second 40-yard dash, which is not near good enough for a top-10 draft pick at defensive end. In fact, that time wouldn't have even been a top-20 performance at the combine, where Robert Quinn ran the fastest 40-yard dash with 4.62 seconds. Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly notes that Bowers "looked fatigued" and struggled in other drills. Nawrocki claims it's possible Bowers slides out of the first round if his medical re-check at the Combine shows that microfracture surgery is needed. But even if that won't be needed, it's likely teams won't want to spend a significant amount of money on someone who has a significant knee injury limiting his abilities at least in the short term. 

But while Bowers' 40-yard dash was bad, his numbers for the other drills were pretty decent. His 7.0 to 7.1 second performance in the 3-cone drill would've been a top 10 performance at the combine, as would his 33.5 inch vertical jump. His broad jump performance was again pretty bad, not good enough for a top-20 spot at the Combine. It's clear that he's not close to fully healthy, but the talent is still there. 

With the deep defensive end class, Bowers' injury issues and the presence of 6 potential first-round quarterbacks, things are lining up perfectly for the Bucs. Even if Bowers himself does not fall to the Bucs, his fall should make it a little easier for the Bucs to land a good defensive end, as teams drafting by player quality will not bump up defensive ends because of their needs. And I still think it's likely one team before the Bucs takes Bowers despite the knee injury, because he's simply too talented not to be drafted in the top 20.