One of the biggest stories leading up to Thursday's opening of the 2011 NFL Draft has been the health of Da'Quan Bowers' surgically-repaired right knee.
Though, disinformation runs rampant in the days before the draft, historically-speaking, if several sources are telling you the same thing (even at this point) the information is typically true.
If the information is, indeed, true, Bowers could be in for a dramatic draft-day fall.
I've spoken to representatives of four different NFL teams who each have "legitimate concerns" about Bowers' knee and the leg strength surrounding it.
As a way of cutting through the smokescreens, I simply asked one team's representative how much faith he placed in his team's medical staff.
He explained that several teams, while confident in their own doctors, don't rely on one opinion. Just as members of National Scouting and BLESTO share scouting information, some NFL teams routinely "trade" medical reports on players. The source claimed to have the medical reports from six different teams (including his own) on Bowers and other prospects.
According to the source, each of the six teams had identified Bowers' knee as a concern. One club he identified as having given the knee a score of 3 (on a scale of 1 to 5), which could result in pushing the player's grade a full round.
The source expected Bowers, who was once viewed as a possible candidate for No. 1 overall, to slip into "the teens or later, but to probably still make the first round."
Both Chad Reuter and I each have the nation's leading sacker (15.5 sacks) slipping to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 20th overall selection. Based on the medical information, NFLDraftScout.com has dropped Bowers to No. 17 in our overall rankings.
Bowers underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus following the 2010 season. He elected not to participate in the Scouting Combine despite being "100 percent" as he wanted an opportunity to get into top physical condition like the other prospects had enjoyed. While this is certainly understandable, teams were initially concerned about the fact that Bowers postponed his Pro Day workout from its' originally scheduled date (March 10) to April 1st. Even with the longer time since his surgery, some felt that Bowers' workout was disappointing.