Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers has yet to take the field to audition for NFL teams since having arthroscopic right knee surgery in January, making his workout Friday extremely important.
There’s a lot riding on Bowers’ pro day, and I expect personnel from all 32 teams to be there, as well as a few head coaches.
Bowers is expected to participate in all combine and defensive line tests and drills. Teams will be looking to see whether he has his movement back. He will need to show quickness, explosiveness off the ball and movement in the knee through all the drills. That’s what scouts want him to show.
If Bowers’ knee proves to be OK and he’s back to at least 75 percent, or better, of what teams have seen in the past, then I don’t see any concerns. If that’s the case, I still see Bowers as a top-10 pick in the draft.
If there are any remaining questions over Bowers’ long-term health, teams will need to rely on their medical staffs to determine if there are any issues going forward. As long as they don’t see any reason why he can’t get to 100 percent before the start of offseason camps, there aren’t any worries.
Bowers will also go back to Indianapolis soon for a medical re-check for teams.
Really, there’s no reason for Bowers to rush a workout if he’s not healthy. So by choosing to do it April 1 tells me that his camp and his doctors believe he’s ready to go.
Teams should evaluate Bowers the way they evaluate any other player. Go back to the start of the season and watch the tape, when he played lights out. Under a new coaching staff and defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, Bowers really bought into the new scheme at Clemson last season. Coaches implemented things to help Bowers, moving him around the defense to take advantage of pass protections.
For NFL teams, there are no questions, at all, about his ability. They just need to see he’s healthy.