Buccaneers rookie defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is coming off his best game, and he says he’s demonstrating that the pre-draft buzz about him was wrong.
Once viewed as a potential first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Bowers ended up going 51st overall, mostly because of concerns that his knees would cut his career short. Bowers has played in all 12 games this year, and he thinks he’s put those health concerns to rest.
“I think people are starting to realize that they made a mistake [by not drafting me earlier],” Bowers told the Tampa Tribune. “But you know what? Everyone else’s mistake is Tampa’s gain. It’s a lovely situation that I’m in here with the Bucs, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I hope this is where I start and end my career as a football player.”
It’s too soon to say all the other teams made a mistake on Bowers: He only moved into the starting lineup two weeks ago, and he didn’t get to the quarterback until last week, when he had 1.5 sacks in the Bucs’ loss to the Panthers. And just because Bowers hasn’t suffered a knee injury yet doesn’t mean team medical staffs were wrong to be concerned.
So Bowers has a ways to go before he has really proven that the teams that passed on him made a mistake. But Sunday’s 1.5-sack effort was a big step in that direction.