Position Ranking: #1
Strengths: Has the size, strength, and technique to be effective at either right end or left end. Plays with good functional strength while extending arms quickly at the snap to lock-out the defender, shed, and make plays on the ball carrier in run support. Very consistent and strong against the run. Has the athleticism to be a very effective pass rusher. Powerful off the ball and can drive the defender into the pocket and disrupt the passing game. Very savvy in his pass rush, will use timing and deception to set his defender up by releasing slowly off the snap, then quickly bursting inside to beat the defender and make a play on the quarterback- athleticism and footwork make this possible. Throws his body around, and will dive to make the tackle away from his frame. Sound, wrap-up tackler. Plays with good intensity and aggression. Good instincts and can anticipate the snap count.
Needs Improvement: Doesn’t show the suddenness off the edge to be able to win the corner consistently at the next level. Has tight hips in space. Pass rush is reliant on power and doesn’t show much variety. Quickness and technique slow down as the game wears on. Better technique against the run than pass. Won’t always give a fighting effort on double teams. Didn’t show he could drop into coverage or consistently rush from a standup position. Questionable if he can become a 3-4 linebacker.
Bottom Line: Bowers is a complete player for the defensive end position, showing the ability to be highly effective against the run and pass. While he doesn’t show the elite suddenness of a dominant edge rusher, his athleticism, instincts, and technique allow him to work for sacks and still pose a consistent threat. Da’Quan has very good upside and isn’t a finished product. NFL coaching will allow him to add more variety and bend to his outside/inside pass rush, and will maximize his very good athleticism and size. The 4-3 end is his natural position and he’d be best suited to remain there. Da’Quan Bowers will be one of the top five players selected in April’s draft and should be an immediate contributor.
Draft Projection: Top ten pick.