The first, from NFL.com’s Steve Wyche, cites a source with knowledge of the situation who claims Bowers’ checkup “showed signs of potential long-term arthritis and some weakness” in the 2010 NCAA sack leader’s surgically repaired knee. Degenerative arthritis can be a career-shortening condition.
The second report, from Pro Football Weekly‘s Nolan Nawrocki, says three doctors in Indianapolis deemed Bowers’ January knee surgery to be of a microfracture variety, which could explain Bowers’ lack of explosiveness at his April 1 Pro Day.
“He will have future problems because the damage is too bad,” one unnamed NFL executive told Nawrocki. Said another high-ranking official, “Our doctors said (Bowers) would be lucky to play out his rookie contract.”
The third, from NFL Network’s Charley Casserly on Path to the Draft, indicated that several teams will be unwilling to use their first-round picks on Bowers because of the knee.
“A number of teams I’ve talked to view Bowers as high-risk,” stated Casserly. “Some teams won’t take him in the first round. With the money you have to invest, you have to pass on Da’Quan Bowers not only in the top ten, but in the first round as well.”
This could all be misinformation spread just before the draft. While it’s noteworthy that there have been more negative reports on Bowers’ knee than positive, everything you hear this time of year should be taken with sizable grains of salt.