A couple of weeks ago, I narrowed down the Dallas Cowboys first round EDGE possibilities to three players; Charles Harris, Takkarist McKinley, and TJ Watt. Over those last few weeks, I have watched and evaluated a few more players, putting the final touches on my 2017 NFL Draft Big Board.
With some new information available to me, I have decided that one more EDGE rusher should be considered 28th overall, and should be added to that short-list.
This EDGE prospect is Houston’s outside linebacker Tyus Bowser.
Tyus Bowser…just gonna leave this here https://t.co/gpn9IOZqmt
Despite spending a large portion of his college playing time dropping into coverage, Bowser flashes first round level pass rushing abilities on tape, when allowed by his defensive coordinator to do so.
Incredibly raw as a rusher, Bowser’s athletic profile and ability to bend around the edge make him a legitimate possibility to be a late first round pick. Tyus Bowser is going to need to learn to win with more pass rush moves, how to better use his hands, and become a more skillful football player. However, his explosiveness and burst off the ball, as well as his bend and athletic traits make him a very interesting and promising EDGE prospect.
If drafted by the Cowboys, Bowser will need to be very coachable over his first couple of seasons. While Charles Harris and Takkarist McKinley are both very raw as rushers, Bowser is clearly the rawest rusher of the four on my list. He may need his “hand held” by Rod Marinelli a bit at first, but once he learns the rush skills, he could be a force.
While some may believe he would fit better as a 3-4 outside linebacker, Bowser could serve as an effective speed rusher in the Cowboys’ 4-3 look.
Plus, when you consider how often the modern NFL defense spends in a sub-package, the difference between being a 4-3 EDGE and 3-4 EDGE is not as drastic as it once was. And at 6’3″ 247 pounds, Bowser is of similar stature to the Raiders’ Khalil Mack, who also rushes from a 4-3 defense.
The similarities to Mack don’t end there, either. Their spider charts are incredibly similar as well, both running 4.65 40 yard dashes and coming within one inch of one another in the broad jump.
Of course, I am not saying Tyus Bowser is going to be Khalil Mack, all I am doing is comparing their combine numbers. The overall point, however, is that Bowser is not nearly as “undersized” an EDGE rusher as some will have you believe.
It could be argued that if given the chance to rush as often as other outside linebackers in this class, such as TJ Watt, Bowser would be getting similar late first round looks as Watt is. If it came down to TJ Watt and Tyus Bowser at 28th overall, I think the Cowboys would have to think long and hard before taking either player.
I believe both have the chance to be really good EDGE rushers, and I think both would be valuable picks in the first round. But, the more I research both this draft class and the recent history of the NFL Draft, the more I think drafting a cornerback in round one may be the way to go.
Still, I am going back and forth on my preferred choice at 28th overall. Luckily for us and the Dallas Cowboys, this NFL Draft class will feature some incredible options when on the clock in the first round.