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View Full Version : More Likely to Bust: Da'Quan Bowers or Nick Fairley?


Umoro
02-01-2011, 08:50 AM
Both of these players are top 5 locks at this point. When you're a top 5 draft pick, expectations are immense and you are expected to step in immediately and start to play at a Pro Bowl level at some point within the next three years.

Both of these players, however, are also basically one-year wonders. Neither Bowers nor Fairley showed much production prior to their break-out seasons in 2010. Bowers was a highly-touted prospect coming into college, and questions linger as to why he didn't produce until this year. Fairley was a JUCO player who suddenly "put it together". Obviously, whenever a top 5 pick had little to no production except for a single season prior to the draft, you have to wonder if that player can sustain that level of play.

There are also character concerns with both, but especially with Fairley. Both players have shown on tape that they may occasionally take plays off. Both players' lack of production until this year must be questioned by scouts. Why would an elite prospect such as Bowers fail to make any impact until this past year at Clemson? Is it his work ethic or his commitment to football? Fairley's character concerns are of a more serious note - is he mature enough to be a top 5 pick for some NFL team? Is his reputation for being a "dirty player" warranted? Will his style of play cost him money in the NFL and more importantly, cost his team?

Based on their production in the 2010 college football season, both of these players obviously deserve to be top 5 picks. And likely, they will be top 5 picks. However, because of the "warning signs" which are obviously apparent with both of these players, the likelihood of either one of these guys becoming a "bust" by failing to live up to the expectations that are part and parcel of being a top 5 pick is non-trivial. I predict that at least one of these players will be considered a "bust" if we look back on this draft in five years. If we assume that at least one of these players will pan out, and one of them will, in fact, bust, which will be the bust and which will be fine?

Shane P. Hallam
02-01-2011, 10:01 AM
I'd say Fairley due to character and effort concerns.

AntoinCD
02-01-2011, 10:05 AM
I would say Fairley. Obviously Bowers' first two years are worrying but he had legitimate injury concerns. Fairley also has previous production issues but also has some legitimate charcter concerns.

Halsey
02-01-2011, 10:24 AM
I honestly don't know. I guess it depends on what you mean by bust. I wouldn't be surprised if either of them ends up being less than stellar, but I wouldn't necessarily call them busts if they turn into average starting quality players. D-lineman are tricky. Nobody thought Gaines Adams and John Sullivan would be total wastes of Draft picks.

SenorGato
02-01-2011, 10:33 AM
I honestly don't know. I guess it depends on what you mean by bust. I wouldn't be surprised if either of them ends up being less than stellar, but I wouldn't necessarily call them busts if they turn into average starting quality players. D-lineman are tricky. Nobody thought Gaines Adams and John Henderson would be total wastes of Draft picks.

John Henderson was a total waste of a draft pick? Maybe you mean Justin Harrell...

I agree with this POV though...though I lean towards Bowers because um...Clemson? Who was their last good DLman?

K Train
02-01-2011, 10:33 AM
i say bowers....i think he lacks some explosiveness and doesnt take over games in the same way fairley has. im not real high on bowers at all

Umoro
02-01-2011, 10:52 AM
I honestly don't know. I guess it depends on what you mean by bust. I wouldn't be surprised if either of them ends up being less than stellar, but I wouldn't necessarily call them busts if they turn into average starting quality players. D-lineman are tricky. Nobody thought Gaines Adams and John Henderson would be total wastes of Draft picks.

If you're picked in the top 5 and you're merely an "average starting quality player" you're definitely a bust.

If Fairley or Bowers went, say, #30 overall, and turned into Jamaal Anderson, they wouldn't necessarily bust. However, due to the expectations that come with top 5 $$$, you need to seriously perform, if not in your rookie season but within at least three years of being drafted.

Example: Glenn Dorsey. Coming out of college, he was billed as the next Warren Sapp. He's basically become a solid 3-4 DE who stops the run and occasionally gets pressure on the QB. He's nothing more than a slightly above-average DL at this point. He's a decent 3-4 DE, but he could be so much more. Compare Dorsey to say, B.J. Raji, which is the type of player Dorsey should have become at that position. Because he was selected top 5, becoming merely a "solid" player means Dorsey was a bust for KC.

Counterexample: Ndamakong Suh. Expectations were through the roof, he made serious bank being selected #2 overall, and even with all that, he didn't disappoint. He was easily worth that #2 pick and more for the Lions last year and looks like a perennial All-Pro type of player for the Lions for many years to come.

K Train
02-01-2011, 10:55 AM
yeah if derrek harvey and jamaal anderson were picked around when lawrence jackson was picked....no one would care. top 5-10 they need to be studs

Halsey
02-01-2011, 11:12 AM
If you're picked in the top 5 and you're merely an "average starting quality player" you're definitely a bust.

That's just an opinion about an arbitrary label. An average starter in the NFL has value. If a team picks a player with a top 5 pick and he gives them an average starter for 5 or more years, I don't call that a bust. A disappoinment, maybe, but a bust to me is someone who is a complete waste of a pick, like Charles Rodgers or JaMarcus Russell.

Halsey
02-01-2011, 11:12 AM
John Henderson was a total waste of a draft pick? Maybe you mean Justin Harrell...

I agree with this POV though...though I lean towards Bowers because um...Clemson? Who was their last good DLman?

I actually meant Johnathan Sullivan.

SenorGato
02-01-2011, 11:14 AM
If you're picked in the top 5 and you're merely an "average starting quality player" you're definitely a bust.

If Fairley or Bowers went, say, #30 overall, and turned into Jamaal Anderson, they wouldn't necessarily bust. However, due to the expectations that come with top 5 $$$, you need to seriously perform, if not in your rookie season but within at least three years of being drafted.

Example: Glenn Dorsey. Coming out of college, he was billed as the next Warren Sapp. He's basically become a solid 3-4 DE who stops the run and occasionally gets pressure on the QB. He's nothing more than a slightly above-average DL at this point. He's a decent 3-4 DE, but he could be so much more. Compare Dorsey to say, B.J. Raji, which is the type of player Dorsey should have become at that position. Because he was selected top 5, becoming merely a "solid" player means Dorsey was a bust for KC.

Counterexample: Ndamakong Suh. Expectations were through the roof, he made serious bank being selected #2 overall, and even with all that, he didn't disappoint. He was easily worth that #2 pick and more for the Lions last year and looks like a perennial All-Pro type of player for the Lions for many years to come.

Dorsey and Raji were two very different players as a prospects...except for being DTs under 6'3.

Clarkw267
02-01-2011, 11:15 AM
I'll say Bowers. He's had the weight issues in the past, and isn't overly explosive.

TitanHope
02-01-2011, 11:30 AM
I say Bowers. He does amazing 2 seconds into the play, but I worry that the explosiveness he lacks in the first instance of the play may hamper him.

I will say that his floor is probably higher than Fairley's, so if we're going off that, then I should have voted Fairley.

This is an impossible question, as it will depend entirely on the scheme they end up on. So this isn't a concrete opinion I have.

Umoro
02-01-2011, 11:41 AM
Let's assume they will both go to 4-3 defenses run by relatively competent coordinators with decent supporting casts.

Right now it looks as if Fairley is going to be a Panther next year. Despite the terrible record, their defense actually flashed some potential this year and they have quite a few promising young players on that side of the ball. Their coaching staff is solid too, with former Philly DC Sean McDermott and former San Diego DC Ron Rivera running the unit next year, probably in tandem. If Fairley busts in that situation, it probably will be his fault and his fault alone.

Bowers will likely be picked by either the Denver Broncos or the Cincinatti Bengals. Both teams will run a 4-3 front next year and both teams have the coaching staff in place to maximize the talent of a young 4-3 DE. John Fox turned Julius Peppers into a perennial Pro Bowler and if Bowers plays hard there's no reason to believe he can't do the same with him. If the Bengals, likewise, install Bowers in their defense as a LDE, he should be able to make an immediate impact playing alongside guys like Antwan Odom, Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Domata Peko.

ThePudge
02-01-2011, 11:50 AM
I think Fairley is the easy answer to this question. Bowers is one of the safest picks in this draft. Even if Da'Quan never develops into a 15+ sack guy, he should at the very worst be a 7-10 Sack Left End somewhere. He's very put together from the neck up. Fairley, on the other hand, is this class' epitome of a boom-or-bust prospect. Questionable character, poor intelligence, and only one year of relevance in college football. Even before his breakout season, Bowers was still a 60+ Tackle player.

I really can't claim to know how Nick Fairley will act when he's receiving millions. He doesn't strike me as a very "professional" person and it'll be tough to use a Top 3 pick on him. I want to clarify that I think he was the most dominant college player from this class and could be considered this draft's top talent. Bowers is the much safer pick due, in a large part, to character.

PossibleCabbage
02-01-2011, 12:05 PM
It's a little confusing in that the poll and the title of the thread are asking different questions. At first I thought I could answer "both" to "who is more likely to bust" which is sort of strange if you think about it.

87Canes
02-01-2011, 12:09 PM
Great question. I've thought about this one a lot and I can trully say they both have bust tendencies but my final decision was Fairley.

Nick's a one year wonder that tore it up. He's got good size for a 3 technique in the NFL but I still ask myself, where was he before last? If he goes to a Denver or Carolina, that entire defensive lines success will be on him because he will be the anchor. Skill wise he's got it all but can it be consistent?

Now ith Bowers, I have a concern that he'll outgrow the SDE role in a 4-3 because he's not strong enough to play a DE in a 3-4 set. The true SDE is a rare thing in the NFL nowadays but there are a couple good ones left and D'Quan could be the anchor of a Broncos 4-3 set for years to come. John Fox has always done great with developing DL so he should fit in perfectly if he lands in Denver.

Umoro
02-01-2011, 12:13 PM
It's a little confusing in that the poll and the title of the thread are asking different questions. At first I thought I could answer "both" to "who is more likely to bust" which is sort of strange if you think about it.

I just put those options in because I thought some people would insist that neither one would bust and would complain that they had to pick one or the other.

There's always a possibility that both could pan out, thought I don't think they both will. You have to add that possibility for completeness' sake.

Umoro
02-01-2011, 12:15 PM
Great question. I've thought about this one a lot and I can trully say they both have bust tendencies but my final decision was Fairley.

Nick's a one year wonder that tore it up. He's got good size for a 3 technique in the NFL but I still ask myself, where was he before last? If he goes to a Denver or Carolina, that entire defensive lines success will be on him because he will be the anchor. Skill wise he's got it all but can it be consistent?


Both Denver and Carolina will have playmakers on the line alongside him. Carolina has a solid top-10 DE in Charles Johnson, and Denver will have Elvis Dumervil coming back to play RDE in all likelihood. So he won't necessarily be counted on to be "the man" on either line.


Now ith Bowers, I have a concern that he'll outgrow the SDE role in a 4-3 because he's not strong enough to play a DE in a 3-4 set. The true SDE is a rare thing in the NFL nowadays but there are a couple good ones left and D'Quan could be the anchor of a Broncos 4-3 set for years to come. John Fox has always done great with developing DL so he should fit in perfectly if he lands in Denver.

Agreed. The only thing holding back Bowers in Denver would be his lack of work ethic or determination.

87Canes
02-01-2011, 12:21 PM
Both Denver and Carolina will have playmakers on the line alongside him. Carolina has a solid top-10 DE in Charles Johnson, and Denver will have Elvis Dumervil coming back to play RDE in all likelihood. So he won't necessarily be counted on to be "the man" on either line.



Agreed. The only thing holding back Bowers in Denver would be his lack of work ethic or determination.

You're right about Fairley in Carolina since they have Charles Johnson and Everett Brown but in Denver, there will be no one else. Elvis Dumerveil exceled in the ROLB roll in a 3-4 but struggled heavily as a WDE in a 4-3. He was too small and kept getting tossed around by LT's with his hand being in the ground off the snap. Denver will have to either play Dumerveil in the hybrid role or seriously think about trading him because he may just be a casualty as he was 2 years ago, before Denver switched to a 3-4.

So Bowers has work ethic concerns? Not good but I'm sure Rivera or Fox can fix that...

Scott Wright
02-01-2011, 12:27 PM
This was an easy one for me: Nick Fairley.

IrishBrowns
02-01-2011, 12:32 PM
Fairley looks like he has the potential to be too fat...get too fat..I think he is a freak though, and I think he can be dominating

princefielder28
02-01-2011, 02:12 PM
The more I watch Fairley and go through material of his the more I get the feeling that he won't be able to handle the transition to the next level and will be satisfied with the big fat paycheck he'll receive.

Nebula
02-01-2011, 03:42 PM
Justin Tuck isn't "overly explosive" but he's one of the best DEs in football.

Bowers is limited tho, purely a 4-3 strongside DE, and an elite one at that. Does that warrant at a top 5 pick? No, but due to the natural hype of the draft -- yes.

BUSTKUNTLAWL
02-01-2011, 03:46 PM
Initial reaction is to say Bowers, but I'd say he is a tad safer.

Fairley seems to me could eat himself out of the league.

SeanTaylorRIP
02-01-2011, 03:48 PM
I think Fairely has more of a chance to bust because of laziness and work ethic, Bowers though has a higher chance of being an average/mediocre player for a top 5 pick.

descendency
02-01-2011, 04:50 PM
I'd say Fairley due to character and effort concerns.

Bowers doesn't have effort concerns? I'd say both, though if you force me to pick, I'd take Fairley because he reminds me of a mental 12 year old. I haven't seen a ton of Bowers interview though.

edit: When did people start thinking that Bowers has a better work ethic (desire) than Fairley. I see the same level of concern if not worse for Bowers.

bengalsbuckeye_28
02-01-2011, 06:04 PM
Bowers. Seriously question his effort in a non "contract year". Bowers was really quiet for two years at Clemson, and frankly on the field he didn't show the same effort level we saw this year. I gotta wonder how he's gonna perform once he sees that big paycheck and loses some motivation. Lost control of his weight at times also IIRC.

SRK85
02-01-2011, 08:21 PM
Neither Fairley will be a good DT not a great one. Similar to Kevin Williams of Minnesota. Bowers will be great. Unless of course Fairley pulls a JaMarcus Russel takes all his guaranteed money and never produce.

Timbathia
02-01-2011, 09:27 PM
You're right about Fairley in Carolina since they have Charles Johnson and Everett Brown but in Denver, there will be no one else. Elvis Dumerveil exceled in the ROLB roll in a 3-4 but struggled heavily as a WDE in a 4-3. He was too small and kept getting tossed around by LT's with his hand being in the ground off the snap. Denver will have to either play Dumerveil in the hybrid role or seriously think about trading him because he may just be a casualty as he was 2 years ago, before Denver switched to a 3-4.

So Bowers has work ethic concerns? Not good but I'm sure Rivera or Fox can fix that...

What are you talking about? Struggled heavily? Did you watch a single Broncos game between 2006 and 2008? Doom had 26 sacks in 3 seasons when the Broncos ran a 4-3 and was the ONLY, and I mean ONLY, pass-rushing threat on the team. There is not a LT in the game that tossed him around in pass protection. He is awesome with his hand on the ground.

He can get run over in the run game, but Doom was/is as much a liability that way when in a 3-4 or a 4-3.

87Canes
02-01-2011, 10:08 PM
What are you talking about? Struggled heavily? Did you watch a single Broncos game between 2006 and 2008? Doom had 26 sacks in 3 seasons when the Broncos ran a 4-3 and was the ONLY, and I mean ONLY, pass-rushing threat on the team. There is not a LT in the game that tossed him around in pass protection. He is awesome with his hand on the ground.

He can get run over in the run game, but Doom was/is as much a liability that way when in a 3-4 or a 4-3.

I only watch 2 Broncos game a year, when they play the Chiefs. The info I got from people was that he got ate alive in a 4-3 defense as a 3 down lineman so they must have been solely referring to his run stoppage skills.

I just reviewed his numbers and it does show that he's done well every year aside from this previous one where he was injured.

I never dive into stats unless I have too. Just go off the top of the head...

Point is he's another small LB/DE that makes plays because of his ability to get lower than the LT. He's got amazing hands and the ability to dip and rip with his agility. Hopefully Fox can get him some help on the other side now that they're switching back to a 4-3. Unless they drop Ayers back to his college position....