Finally Da’Quan Bowers is off the board: 51 picks into the 2011 NFL Draft, the erstwhile potential No. 1 pick and one of the top defensive ends in a draft full of them has gone to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that has never met a defensive bargain it didn’t like. The Clemson star has been bothered by knee injuries and rumors of knee injuries—specifically a degenerative one that would require surgery and eventually end his career.
The Buccaneers, wisely, perhaps, realized that eventually something would end all of these players’ careers. Bowers has an extraordinarily high ceiling for a second-round pick, and while he’s healthy he could become a real force on the Buccaneers’ defensive line.
Bucs Nation is nervous about the pick, which is the definition of high-risk, high-reward. Bowers could be the biggest bargain in the 2011 NFL Draft, or he could be our of the NFL in three years. That’s implicit with most second rounders, but with Da’Quan Bowers it’s always right on the surface.