Scouting Report-Bowman is the kind of play when you read his clippings and watch him play, you figure he's got to be a first round pick right? But he really isn't and it's not because he can't play football. Because there's no doubt he can. His range is amazing as he's able to work from one hash to the other with little effort and can really cover the entire field in that mid level of the defense. A lot of that is because he's a really smart player, does a good job breaking the play down, and takes great angles to the ballcarrier. If you run to his side, good luck getting the edge on him and getting upfield. So, we get it, he can play the run. Can he cover? You betcha. He can line up and go man on tight ends, chase backs out of the backfield, drop his butt and slide into zone coverage and really does a nice job anticipating and deflecting passes. As a blitzer however, he comes up pretty short. The problem? Well, it's the big rub with his whole game. The guy looks like he should be as strong as an ox with his compact frame, but he really isn't. Shoulders are narrow and you have to give him an A for effort on sticking his nose in against lineman, it normally doesn't work out well for him.
Draft Status-Bowman is strictly 4-3 OLB material, so that limits him in some regard with the teams who will target him. Then you figure in a talented OLB group, and I can see Bowman slipping into the late 2nd round. No doubt he has some legit concerns(more on those later), but he's a very good football player as well. I can't imagine he lasts into the 3rd round but if he does, he's a steal.
Final Analysis-Bowman has some serious strikes against him. His lack of strength is legit and could really hurt him if a team thinks he can't get stronger. He's had some injuries and so there is always some concerns there. As good as he is in coverage the fact he can't really rush the passer could hurt him too. I think that is very coachable, because some of what I see is a player who's overly aggressive, and if he can be coached to just ease back, will really help him. He's a nice tackler but not great, but once again, coachable. Oh, and because someone will ask if I don't put it in, yes Bowman has had a run in with the law. There, I said it. All in all, Bowman is a great player in a loaded draft, and will fall some. In my opinion he's a 3 down 4-3 OLB and that's not something you see a ton of in the NFL. My biggest concern with him, I haven't mentioned at this point is, I wonder if his upside may be pretty small. Not convinced yet, but it's something to think about, just how much better he can be.
Reminds me of:Chad Greenway, OLB, Minnesota Vikings-Greenway is a really solid all around player and one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL. He also has a limited upside and isn't as physical as some would like. Bowman is a player a lot like that.
Red Flags: Character/Medical
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy