Photo of Adarius Bowman
Grade
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  • 6'4" Height
  • 220LBS. Weight

Overview

Adarius Bowman is a classic case of a player making the most of a second chance.

The former University of North Carolina prospect transferred to Oklahoma State after he was dismissed by the UNC staff due to an off-field incident. He chose the Cowboys to be reunited with the position coach who had recruited him at UNC, Gunter Brewer, son of former Mississippi head coach, Billy Brewer.

Known for his ability to develop wide receivers -- Randy Moss (New England) is listed among Brewer's discoveries -- the coach's faith in Bowman was greatly rewarded the last two seasons, as his talented pupil would go on to finish his OSU career as the school's fourth-leading all-time receiver with 127 catches for 2,187 yards. What makes this story even more remarkable is that Bowman played most of his football life with very poor vision. Diagnosed with 20/900 vision, he underwent corrective lasik eye surgery in April 2007.

A two-time "Mr. Tennessee" selection at Notre Dame High School, Bowman also earned Class 2A All-State honors as a junior and senior. He was named the Tennessee Athlete of the Year, in addition to picking up Super Prep All-American honors, as he was also ranked the 10th-best wide receiver in the country by that magazine. He was ranked the 18th-best wide receiver in the nation by recruiting analyst Max Emfinger and rated the fourth-best player in Tennessee by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

As a senior, Bowman made 42 catches for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns vs. double- and triple-coverage as a senior. During his junior season, he caught 52 passes for 1,339 yards and 16 touchdowns, setting school records in both categories. He was named one of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution's top 100 players in the South and also registered with 75 tackles and four interceptions on defense.

After his senior season, Bowman played in the U.S. Army High School All-American Bowl and caught a 33-yard touchdown pass. He excelled in track, winning state titles in the triple-jump, long lump, high jump and 4x100 meter relay. He also lettered in basketball and was selected to play in the Tennessee vs. Georgia all-star basketball game.

Bowman enrolled at North Carolina in 2003, appearing in 12 games, starting vs. Clemson and Georgia Tech. He made 10 catches for 181 yards (18.1-yard average) and a pair of scores. He appeared in six games in 2004 for the Tar Heels, catching 18 passes for 329 yards (18.3-yard average) and three touchdowns. But he was suspended indefinitely prior to the Utah clash when he was caught in another student's dorm room with marijuana present. UNC had a "one-strike policy" and the receiver was dismissed from the university.

Bowman followed his position coach to Oklahoma State and sat out the 2005 season under NCAA transfer rules. The 2006 All-Big Twelve Conference first-team pick was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top receiver. He was also the recipient of the Bob Fenimore Award, given to the team's MVP.

Bowman ranked second in the league and 11th in the nation with 90.85 yards receiving per game. He finished sixth on the school's single-season list with 60 receptions and his 1,181 yards rank fourth on OSU's list. He averaged 19.7 yards per catch and produced 12 touchdowns. His 300-yard performance vs. Kansas set a conference game-record and rank 11th in NCAA annals.

After the 2006 football season, Bowman joined the OSU basketball team. He appeared in five games, logging 17 minutes of action. He made 1-of-6 field goals, as he pulled down four rebounds and was charged with two fouls.

Bowman was well on his way to an All-American senior campaign in 2007, but a right knee sprain vs. Kansas forced him to miss the final two games of the regular season. He still received national third-team honors (The NFL Draft Report) and was a second-team All-Big Twelve choice. He led the team with 67 receptions, the fifth-best season total in school history, as he totaled 1,006 yards (15-yard average) with eight touchdowns. He joined Rashaun Woods (2001-03) as the only players in school annals to gain over 1,000 yards in a season twice for the Cowboys.

In 24 games at Oklahoma State, all starting assignments, Bowman finished fourth in school annals with 127 receptions and became just the fourth Cowboy to gain over 2,000 yards receiving, amassing 2,187 yards (17.2-yard average) with 20 touchdowns. He also ran four times for 10 yards. Earlier in his career, he appeared in 18 games at North Carolina, where he grabbed 28 passes for 510 yards (18.2 avg) and five scores.

He started a total of 26 of the 42 games in which he played at both universities. He hauled in 155 passes for 2,697 yards (17.4-yard average) with 25 touchdowns. He also recovered a fumble and rushed five times for 6 yards (1.2 avg).

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a tall, muscular frame with long arms, large hands, well-developed upper-body musculature, especially in his chest and arms, and tapered thighs and calves...Smooth and fluid route runner with the loose hips and ability to sink his pads to change direction in an instant...Shows excellent open-field acceleration and knows how to vary his speed to set up the defender...Has the low center of gravity to get in and out of his cuts sharply and displays the balance and timing to extend for the ball...Uses his body control and feet to tap dance along the sideline to make the soft catch...His flexibility and burst are evident in his quickness getting into his routes...Hard worker in the offseason and an intelligent athlete with the valid instincts to gobble up the cushion of defensive backs...Plays through pain and has proven he is capable of handling hard coaching...Has the hand punch and placement to lock on and steer second-level defenders when blocking for the ground game...Uses his power in attempts to defeat the press and get into his routes...Has an explosive initial burst getting upfield, as he is sudden closing on the cushion...Has quick-twitch moves with his hands to beat the defender and get a clean release...Has the breakaway speed to threaten the deep secondary and uses his hands well to steer the defender away from the action...Takes good angles to create his pass lanes and can pull away from any defender once he gets into the second level...Settles nicely to break off crisply, lowering his weight and sticking his foot into the ground to generate rapid acceleration getting into the open...Does a fine job settling into the zone's soft spots when working over the middle and moves well without the ball in his hands, looking for an unsuspecting defender to neutralize when blocking for the ground game...His sideline awareness allows him to make the tough catches along the boundaries...Has the speed and stride to gain separation on deep routes and makes natural adjustments to the ball...Has the large, soft hands to extend and pluck the ball on bubble screens and does a nice job of going for the ball with his hands outside the frame, showing good flexibility to snare low throws on shallow crossing routes...Has the rare size and playing strength to gain yardage and break arm tackles after the catch...Might drop a few balls in a crowd due to concentration issues or his lack of natural hands, but shows good courage working in a crowd...With his long stride and second gear, he is very effective at tracking the deep throw, especially when trying to make the over-the-shoulder grab...Demonstrates excellent ability to torque and rise to extend for that deep ball, doing a nice job of getting vertical to make the catch...Strong runner with the ball in his hands, but also is shifty enough to avoid...Has good plant-and-drive change-of-direction agility when eluding...Spins well with the ball, swinging away from the frame, as he slides with good hop in his step to avoid the defender while setting up another move...Will sometimes dance with the defender for just a short period when blocking in-line, but in the second level, he shows good explosion behind his initial block and the hand placement to mirror. Negatives: Was dismissed from the University of North Carolina after he was caught in another student's dorm room with marijuana present and was first suspended indefinitely and later dismissed from the university...Struggled trying to locate the deep throws earlier in his career and it was discovered that he had 20/900 vision. He underwent lasik surgery in April 2007 to correct the problem, but still failed to get to 30 passes as a senior (had 108 passes targeted to him, catching 67, as he had 11 others deflected)...Has just adequate hands, tends to cradle the ball and will let it into his body too often, especially in tight areas...While he is a solid cut blocker in the open, working in-line, he is more of a pest-type blocker, as he doesn't use his weight-room strength to face up and dominate vs. smaller defenders, especially in pass protection...Has some concentration lapses on the field when working through traffic, causing him to sometimes be late working back to the ball. Compares To: BRAYLON EDWARDS-Cleveland...Bowman has excellent size, strength and speed and is a physical receiver combating for the ball. He had some problems locating the ball in the past. That issue seems to have been resolved after he underwent vision-correction surgery prior to the 2007 season. He is an effective cut blocker and a savvy open-field runner and makes most of his production separating after the catch. He has an explosive release off the snap and is a very smooth route-runner who easily wins with double moves. With his improved vision and solid work ethic, most teams will quickly overlook his off-field incident that led to his dismissal from North Carolina earlier in his career.
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Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.