As the second and third rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft begin Friday, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers remains the most conspicuous absence from an NFL team, and the only straggler in an extraordinarily large class of defensive linemen. Considering he was considered among the very best in the draft, teams must be even more worried about his knee than they let on. He tops the Mocking The Draft list of best available talent as the second round opens, ahead of fellow first-round possibility Ryan Mallett and rumored St. Louis Rams pick Kyle Rudolph.
Rumors have swirled over the offseason that Da'Quan Bowers has a degenerative knee condition. If he does, his career could be pretty brief; if he doesn't, some team—the Cleveland Browns in MTD's last-minute mock—is going to get a top-10 talent at bargain-basement prices. Immediately before the draft it was reported that most teams had signed off on Bowers's knee, but that clearly wasn't the case from the moment he slipped out of the Top 15 picks.
He's unlikely to get out of the second round no matter how bad his knee is—somebody's going to take a chance on all that talent.