The Buccaneers announced the signing of the team's 2011 second-round draft pick Da'Quan Bowers on Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.
Bowers, a junior defensive end from Clemson, becomes the fourth member of Tampa Bay's 2011 draft class to be signed, following Tuesday's announcement of middle linebacker Mason Foster, a third-round pick from Washington, and tight end Daniel Hardy, a seventh-round pick from Idaho, and last night's news that first-round pick Adrian Clayborn, a defensive end from Iowa, was also under contract.
Bowers was originally tabbed to be a favorite to become the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011 before having offseason knee surgery. He was slow to recover from that surgery and some teams downgraded and red-flagged his condition, fearing long-term damage to his knee. That caused his draft stock to freefall and the Bucs capitalized on it by making him their second-round pick. Bowers led Clemson and the nation in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (26) last year. In his three-year career with the Tigers, Bowers had 19.5 sacks and 44.5 tackles for loss.
After getting a clean bill of health from Bucs doctors, Bowers is expected to participate in training camp on opening day and be the team’s starting left defensive end in the season opener against Detroit on September 11. The big, rangy defensive end stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 280 pounds, and has an explosive first step and strong hands that allow him to control the edge against the run and beat right tackles en route to the quarterback.