I managed to get a feed of Clemson vs UNC as a bonus today. I’ll have thoughts on Alabama’s shock defeat at South Carolina and LSU/Florida when I’ve watched the tape tomorrow. Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) was once the #1 overall ranked recruit when he committed to the Tigers ahead of the 2008 season. He was slowed by injury and inconsistency to start his career, recording just four sacks in two years. The light appears to have switched on in 2010 . Two more sacks against North Carolina took his tally this season to six in five games. He had a third sack nullified by an offside call, stepping up a split second too early.
It wasn’t just the numbers that stood out. Bowers put constant pressure on UNC quarterback T.J. Yates, flashing a great initial burst to regularly get into the backfield and impact plays. He showed good upper body strength to push back offensive lineman to compliment his speed off the edge. There wasn’t a great repertoire on show and Bowers certainly didn’t flash a great spin move, but he generally didn’t need to against UNC’s offensive line. His size (280lbs, 6-4) doesn’t lend to the LEO position but he has the kind of build that could fit the ‘five technique’ LE position that Red Bryant has been playing. Although Bowers isn’t as big as Bryant, he’s a better pass rusher. With an effective LEO rusher on the other side, Bowers would add another string to Seattle’s defensive line bow. He plays some snaps inside and looks comfortable, so I have to believe he’d be well suited to such a role.
I had Bowers in the 20-32 pick range previously, but I’ll certainly consider upping that in the next mock draft. He can easily be a top-15 pick.
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