Player: Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson
Basics: The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Bowers broke out in his junior season at Clemson, leading the nation with 15.5 sacks and tallying 26 tackles for a loss. At one point, he was considered one of the top picks in the draft, but questions about the health of his knee (he is coming off surgery to repair a torn meniscus), have caused his stock to drop each week the draft draws closer.
Why he might fit: The Redskins are in need of help on their defensive front, although outside linebacker is believed to be a priority. But if he falls to the tenth pick, Bowers still could be hard to pass on. Unlike Robert Quinn and some of the other ends in the draft, Bowers isn’t projected to transition to outside linebacker. Instead, he would remain at end, and if selected, would push Adam Carriker, Phillip Daniels and Kedric Golston for playing time.
Why he might not: Bowers’ knee is the biggest concern. If not for that, he might have been the No. 1 pick in the draft. Can he make a full recovery and dominate in the NFL, or will this injury flare up off and on? And Bowers is believed to be best suited as a 4-3 power-rusher rather than a lateral-moving, gap-creating 3-4 end.
Likelihood Redskins draft him (scale of 1 to 10): 5. The talent that Bowers displayed last season just might be too great to pass up. Because they haven’t had free agency, the Redskins very well could be prepared to take the best player available. But they could pass on him because of health concerns.