Once projected as the possible number one overall selection in the 2011 draft, Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers has scuffled in his first 3 seasons in the NFL. After falling out of the first round completely, the Bucs took a chance on Bowers and selected him 53rd overall. Knowing they needed help on the defensive line, the Bucs were hopeful that Bowers would return to the dominate pass rusher that made him a candidate for the number one overall pick, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet.
With excellent size at 6’4, 288 lb’s, Bowers has the body of an NFL pass rusher. Bowers problem is his inability to stay healthy. After his rookie season in which he only produced 1.5 sacks in 16 games, Bowers tore his Achilles tendon during the Bucs off-season program in May and landed on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP). Bowers came off the PUP list in October and produced what was his best season. In 10 games, Bowers produced 3 sacks, and 13 tackles. Bowers came in on third down passing situations, which gave him fresher legs to rush the quarterback. 2013 was another down season for Bowers, as he missed 3 games due to injuries and only recorded 1 sack in 13 games played.
The 2014 season hasn’t started too well for Bowers either. New General Manager Jason Licht made comments that Bowers showed up to training camp out of shape and that Bowers is on “thin ice” in Tampa Bay. Bowers must prove to the new Buccaneers regime that he is ready to produce for the team, as there is a chance the former Clemson Tigers star may not make the Bucs 53 man roster. The clock is ticking on Bowers NFL future.