The days are dwindling down until the Cleveland Browns are on the clock to kick off the 2017 NFL Draft. As you have probably noticed as of late, the Atlanta Falcons are stringing together visits and private workouts with key prospects. Under the Dan Quinn era, pre-draft workouts are an omen to the serious interest in a particular prospect.
While the Falcons will in all likelihood pick up a defensive end to add to the rotation, the LEO position is another spot that can see plenty of attention. The Falcons top option at the LEO spot is veteran Brooks Reed. While Reed improved as the season went along in 2016, he’s not a sure-fire guarantee as a Falcon and can possibly see more time at defensive end and/or get replaced this time next offseason. I recently placed Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt under the microscope in a scouting report here on Falcoholic. Watt’s name has been floating around lately as a possible first or second round pick for Atlanta and he could be a plug-in player at LEO. Here is another possibility at LEO that is a very interesting prospect for the Falcons.
Tyus Bowser Scouting Report
Weight: 247 lbs
Strengths: Bowser is an excellent athlete. The Falcons scout for particular athletic traits when it comes to finding defenders in the front seven. Bowser checks off the boxes when it comes to the 3-cone drill (6.75, 1st among LBs at the Combine), broad jump (10’7”, 3rd among LBs), and vertical leap (37.5 inches, 1st among LBs). Those three Combine drills display his explosiveness. Bowser is fluid in his change of direction and able to be agile in space. He also has no issue at all when it comes to showing bend around the edges to track down quarterbacks. One underrated aspect to Bowser’s game is his reliability in pass coverage. Bowser has the athleticism to stick with tight ends and some running backs in pass coverage and has seven pass deflections to his credit the past two seasons.
That element of his game is critical to his possible spot at LEO, where he will be asked to drop in coverage at times. His versatility while at Houston also played a considerable part in his development as he saw significant time at both linebacker and defensive end. Which of course, is a blend to make up the position of LEO. Bowser earned second-team All-American Conference honors in 2016 as he racked up 47 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and a career-high 8.5 sacks.
Weaknesses: Bowser’s overall strength is definitely a work in progress. At this stage of his game, if Bowser can not win off the edge with burst and speed, his chances of impacting a play diminishes. His run defense is also not great at this point but that can change once his strength has improved. There are some concerns on whether he can add proper weight without limiting his skill set.
Bowser missed a handful of games in 2016 due to a fight with a teammate at Houston, which could be viewed as a flaw in his character. Bowser also has to develop his pass rushing maneuvers as he will not be able to win with speed alone at the NFL level.
Conclusion: There is something about Bowser that intrigues me as an overall prospect. He’s fast, athletic, and seems to have room for improvement because he possesses a high ceiling. Even as intriguing as he is now, it’s scary to see what he will become when he is a finished product.
He has seen favorable comparisons to Cleveland Browns linebacker Jamie Collins. If he does follow that path, Bowser has the potential to develop into one of the most athletic linebackers in the NFL.
His draft stock has seen a spike lately. As a result, Bowser probably will not see day three of the NFL Draft. Chances are, he may be available late in the second and it is not out of the question that Bowser is the Falcons choice by then.
If selected by Atlanta, Bowser will be slotted for the LEO position as stated before and can be an upgrade over the less athletic Reed. It will not be entirely the answer to the defensive end position in Atlanta but it allows the Falcons defensive staff to incorporate another top notch athlete with scary pass rushing potential with Beasley and company.