CLEMSON, SC (WIS) - Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers worked out for NFL scouts Friday.
For most of us, a torn meniscus is a minor problem. But for Bowers, that knee injury could wind up costing him millions of dollars. So Bowers had a lot riding on his pro day Friday morning in Tiger town.
Bowers performed before a crowd in Death Valley one last time. Scouts from 24 of the NFL's 32 teams showed up to evaluate the former Clemson defensive end.
Bowers chose to work out in the stadium instead of the practice field. "We talked about doing it on the practice field, but I wanted to work out on Death Valley one last time," he said.
Bowers only lifted weights at the NFL combine in February. So it was the first time scouts had a chance to see him run and do agility drills on his surgically repaired knee. "I knew that they would be watching my knee," he said, "I just wanted to prove I didn't have any effects that was lingering, causing me not to do anything. They just wanted to see me push through and workout. So that's what I did. So I had no problem with the knee all day."
Bowers turned in a 40 yard dash time in the four-eight range. It was a little slower than he expected. "After you get the numbers, you always say you could have done better," said Bowers, "I could have done better at a lot of stuff out there."
Bowers led the nation in sacks this past season. At one point, he was being mentioned as the leading candidate to be the draft's number one overall pick. The knee injury has probably knocked him from the top spot. But Bowers is confident his workout proved he's one of the best players available. "You know, I think I had a pretty good day," he said, "My last game I played here I lost. My last workout here I won. So that's the way I wanted it to end."
What's next for Bowers? He'll visit eight of the teams holding the drafts top ten picks. It includes the Carolina Panthers, which is the first team on the clock later this month.