(Editor's Note: With less than one month until the start of the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27, the staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is University of Houston edge rusher Tyus Bowser).
Name: Tyus Bowser
Honors:A broken orbital bone forced Bowser out of the first four games of the 2016 season. Despite that, he finished tied for Houston's team lead with 8.5 sacks, which was enough to earn him second-team all-conference honors.
Key stat: There are a couple of things worth mentioning about Bowser. Firstly, the East Texas native played basketball during his first two years at Houston – so he is still fine-tuning the demands of football as his primary sport. Despite that, he finished with 21.5 career sacks in his four-year career. Second, Bowser's got plenty of experience doing multiple things for a defense. He's widely projected as a pass rusher, but he spent a lot of time dropping in coverage as more of a true linebacker during his time with the Cougars. That type of versatility should make him intriguing to both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes alike.
Where He's Projected:You don't hear Bowser's name as often as other top-tier pass rushers like Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris or Carl Lawson – but there are plenty who believe he belongs in that category. Not all draft analysts see Bowser as a first-round pick, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't think he's one of the best 50 or so prospects in this draft class. It's entirely possible that he goes in the first round. Even if he doesn't, it's hard to imagine he lasts past the second round.
How He Helps the Cowboys: Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. As noted above, Bowser has the capability to play some standup linebacker. Despite that, it's a good bet the Cowboys would use him as a pure defensive end for a pass rush that has underwhelmed for most of the past four years. He's a bit undersized, but he's got the type of impressive athleticism, evidenced by a 4.65 40-yard dash and a 6.75 3-cone drill, that could make him formidable as a right defensive end.[embeddedad0]
Scout's Take: This is a guy with outstanding playing speed. Bowser lays with short area burst and quickness. He has the range to go sideline to sideline, and he is a reactionary athlete. The tape shows a guy that is loose in the hips and can change direction in an instant. He shows body control and balance. Can go wide, turn his body then explode up the field. That said, he might have better weight room strength than playing strength. There are snaps where he doesn't do a good enough job of disengaging off blocks. His best plays are ones where he goes unblocked. I thought he could have played better with his hands when controlling the blocker. But he will tackle when he gets in position. In my opinion, this is a better pass rusher than cover linebacker. He takes tiny steps when he drops, but he will drive on the ball when it's in front of him. If he's going to play more in coverage, he needs to develop more awareness. He shows the ability to make plays when he rushes the passer, as he can really attack the pocket and cause problems. Bowser has a nose for the quarterback, and I like his ability to bend. I think he needs to be a full-time rusher and not a linebacker in coverage. – Bryan Broaddus