The Green Bay Packers have a lot of holes to fill in this year’s NFL Draft. Cornerback, running back, offensive guard, and outside linebacker, in no particular order, top their list of positions that are looking for additional help. Due to key personnel losses at these positions and lack of free agent acquisitions to replenish these losses, these positions have to be dealt with through the draft. Although many might believe that cornerback should top this list, it is highly doubtful that Packers general manager Ted Thompson will spend the Packers top draft pick on one. With that in mind, outside linebacker should be on top of Thompson’s list. There is a player who should be available when the Packers are on the clock that would help at this position. Houston’s Tyus Bowser is that player and would make sense for the Packers. Packers fans should be banging the table for Bowser to be selected.
Green Bay Packers Fans Should be Banging the Table for Tyus Bowser
Much of the speculation leading up to the draft has Wisconsin outside linebacker T.J. Watt being selected with the Packers first round pick. Watt had a very strong past season for the Badgers, registering 11 ½ sacks and being a standout performer in a very tough defense. But even with his performance and having the proper bloodlines, his brother is standout defensive end J.J. Watt, he has a lot of questions. Watt only had one productive season at Wisconsin and to go along with that, there are questions about his ability to drop back in coverage and be stout on the edge against the run. A player who doesn’t have those questions is Bowser, who has shown that he is all around solid player.
At 6’3” 247 lbs., Tyus Bowser is a strong and very explosive player. There isn’t much question about his athletic ability, playing two seasons on the University of Houston basketball team. Bowser just isn’t an athlete playing football, he has shown that he is all around solid football player.
One of the most important requirements in playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, like the Packers run, is the ability to rush the passer. During his time at Houston, Bowser has shown that he is very capable of getting to the opposing team’s quarterback. He posted 22 ½ sacks during his career as a Cougar. This past season he posted a career-high 8 ½ sacks. What makes that number even more impressive is that he only played in eight games this past season. Although the reason for missing those games might make some scouts and general managers think twice about selecting him.
Bowser missed time this past season after suffering a fractured orbital bone when he got into a fight with one of his teammates. Although then Houston head coach Tom Herman quickly dealt with the situation, questions still persisted about Bowser’s ability to get along with teammates. But, Bowser has dealt with the situation head on during his interviews at the combine with perspective teams and he has been upfront with what has happened and has owned up to the situation.
Even with the scuffle, many teams will look past that because of Bowser’s ability on the field. To go along with his ability to get to the quarterback, Bowser has shown that he is able to set the edge against the run and most impressively, he is able to drop back into coverage. Many Packers fans understand how important it is to have a player at the outside linebacker who is able to drop back into coverage. In recent history, the Packers defense has been torn apart by opposing team’s tight ends who are able to break coverage in the middle of the field. Current Packers linebackers, especially Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez, have struggled covering tight ends, making that a big weakness for the Packers defense. With the addition of Bowser, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers would have the benefit of having a player who can both rush the passer as well as drop into coverage.
The Packers defense is in dire need of playmakers. Current Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is really the only current Packers linebacker who is able to make plays. But at 31 and coming off a season where he struggled with injuries, the Packers need to bring in another linebacker who is capable of making a play when it is necessary. Bowser has shown that he is capable of doing this. To go along with his 8 ½ sacks, this past season Bowser registered 12 tackles for loss.
Daniel Parlegreco from DTP Scout has Bowser ranked as his eleventh EDGE rusher in his draft guide. He should be available when the Packers select and wouldn’t be thought of as a reach. The Packers are in dire need of playmakers and it appears that Bowser has all the makings to be one at the next level.