If you were paying attention to the pulse of the NFL Draft a few months ago, one name that you would see near the top of the charts was Da'Quan Bowers.
What happened to the guy?
In short, injury concerns. Todd McShay reported that some team officials he has been in communications with described Bowers as "a ticking time bomb". It wasn't in reference to his talent exploding on the scene, it was in reference to his penchant for suffering injuries. There is some concern that it's only a matter of time before he is sidelined for a significant portion of time or suffers an injury that debilitates his ability to be a successful NFL player.
When the 2011 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday at 8 pm, where is Da'Quan Bowers going to fall?
Todd McShay thinks he'll be drafted somewhere in the top 20, but he was projected top 5 a few months ago, even after his surgery. What has changed since February? According to NBC Sports, he may need additional microfracture surgery.
It's obvious why a guy like Ryan Mallett is plummeting down the boards. Between Brandon Marshall calling him "the hip Matty Ice", allegedly being involved in drugs, and not showing up to a meeting due to illness (despite the fact that guys like Mark Schlereth insist there are no sick days in the NFL), Mallett is raising a lot of character concerns, with many believing that he won't be dependable enough to lead an NFL offense.
Bowers, on the other hand, has not had any apparent character concerns He was considered a top 5 NFL prospect just a few months ago, despite his injury concerns. But here we are, 3 days from the draft, and with another potential surgery on the horizon, Bowers has dropped 15 spots in most mock drafts.
Does this mean that his appeal to teams with top 5 picks has vanished? Not necessarily. The guys who make up these mock drafts do not have an opportunity to draft NFL players. The guys who do hold 2011 NFL Draft picks are keeping their big boards close to the chest.
With all that said, are the Broncos still interested in Da'Quan Bowers with the second overall pick? Probably not. If they were able to trade down from that pick into the 5 through 15 range, I could see it happening, though. With an injured player, taking a chance with a top 15 pick is rare. Taking a chance with the 2nd overall pick, however, is unheard of.