The month of February wears many different hats, including Black History Month, the NBA All- Star game, the “Month of Love,” and the Super Bowl. It is also prime time for the beginning of the NFL offseason, marking the start of roster cuts, salary cap causalities, and talks of the NFL Draft. With all of the mock drafts and scouting reports circulating around the sports world, it is easy to lose yourself in the all the clutter. So, we at Ramblin’ Fan have decided to hit the pause button and reflect back a draft from the past; the 2011 NFL Draft.
Really, what peaked our interest about the 2011 Draft in particular was the recent report in USA Today that Da’Quan Bowers had been charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after showing up to New York’s LaGuardia Airport with a loaded gun in his carry-on bag. In 2011, at the time of the draft, many had Bowers as the overall top rated player in the class… at least, until his Pro Day, when he showed up overweight, out-of-shape, and where, according to some NFL evaluators at the time, he “cost himself millions of dollars.” With Bowers’ stock free-falling, St. Louis was widely thought to be the landing spot for the disgruntled college star. With Spags still at the helm, in search of a dominating defensive lineman under the age of 30 (sorry Fred Robbins) and not named Chris Long, the selection was extremely plausible, especially with the Rams picking in the middle of the first round.
Luckily, St. Louis opted for Robert Quinn, who rotated with James Hall opposite of Chris Long at defensive end. Now, with his sophomore season complete, Quinn has amassed 52 tackles, 15.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick. The Long-Hayes-Quinn trio in St. Louis combined for 29 sacks in 2012, which is more than the Chiefs, Raiders, Jaguars, and Buccaneers’ team totals in sacks for the season.
Conversely, Bowers plummeted into the 2nd round of the draft, before being scooped up by Tampa Bay. In 26 games, he has compiled a mere 38 tackles and 4.5 sacks. If those numbers weren’t bad enough, the one-time potential first overall pick will likely not be seeing much of the field in 2013… or ever again, for that matter. The gun charges being brought against him are the same as the ones that were thrown at Plaxico Burress in 2008 , which carry a minimum sentence of 3.5 years in prison, with a maximum of 15 years pending any plea bargains.
Anyways… Cheers to you Robert Quinn, and to the St. Louis Rams organization for, in hindsight, making an excellent decision on bypassing Da’Quan Bowers and the storm that inevitably followed!