Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Hasn't Da'Quan Bowers Been Drafted?

His knee has scared away lost of teams.

As I watched the First Round unfold last night, I was shocked as team after team passed on Da'Quan Bowers, the stud DE from Clemson.  I've heard that questions arose at the combine about his knee, and evidently a lot of teams are afraid to draft him.  Some have even taken him completely off their draft boards!  His size, athleticism and skill are hardly matched by any other DE in his draft class, but here he sits after Round One.  Why?

Evidently, his knee injury is pretty serious, as some have said he may need microfracture surgery to repair it, which would most likely cost him his rookie season.  I understand how that could scare many teams away from paying him tens of millions to sit his first season.  Teams who make huge investments want quick returns.  

When I heard "microfracture" surgery, the first two names that came to my mind were Greg Oden and Yao Ming, two NBA players who have been decimated with similar knee injuries and haven't played in two years.  This HAS to be what NFL organizations are thinking about as well, wondering if Bowers will miss out on a long career.  

I decided to do some research and found an EXCELLENT ARTICLE regarding these injuries and pro athletes.  It has been documented that NBA players careers declined at a much faster rate than NFL players, and it states that the corrective microfracture procedure actually HELPS PROLONG NFL careers! 

Certainly, now that we're out of the tens-of-millions-of-dollars contract round, somebody has to take Bowers quickly, I would think.  Since the Patriots have the first pick tonight, if they don't want him, don't be surprised if they trade down again for more picks and another team moves up to grab Bowers. 

I would be shocked if he lasts more than the first five picks tonight, as his potential value far outweighs his slotted contract price.  If the Falcons are going to trade five picks for Julio Jones, I'd trade a couple more and moved up and get Bowers.  Bowers and Jones would give Atlanta two premium talents at two positions of need (pass rusher and playmaker). 

Don't Buy the Hype:  Draft Da'Quan Bowers.  He's more than worth the risk. 

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