At 6'2" and 221 lbs., Bowe may be exactly what the Redskins need at WR. He's also only 27 years old, not hindering the 'rebuild'.
One of the lacking areas on the offensive side of the ball is the receiving corps. It's riddled with a loose collective of average-to-below average receivers. Jabar Gaffney is great at finding holes to sit in, but I swear he runs in slow motion. Let's face it, Santana Moss is getting old. He just finished his 11th season. Don't get me wrong, some of the greats played forever (nearly), but we can't really compare Santana with those guys. In his best year he was still only above-average (2005). Leonard Hankerson looked great at the beginning of the season and was on-pace to have a pretty good year, but injuries loom in his future and I don't know what the probability is that he comes back 100%. Then you have players like Terrence Austin and Anthony Armstrong who seem to show their face every 3 games, then make some spectacular play while everybody is thinking "Oh, I forgot they were on the team".
All good players and students of the game, but no studs. Nobody that is going to scare the defense into double coverage. Nobody to prepare for defensively.
Enter: Dwayne Bowe
Bowe brings an extra 10 lbs to the outside (all of the Redskins receivers are 209 or below) and has the ability to be that deep threat/ endzone fade guy that we need. His acrobatic catches can be directly attributed to his great hands. The man can just reach out and grab a ball no matter where it is.
I'm going to change it up, and use a grading system like we do in the Round Tables. I'll look at his hands, speed, and agility (encompassing other traits like YAC and breaking tackles, respectively) after the jump.
Bowe had a relatively under-the-radar season. In 2011, he produced 81 catches for 1,159 yards and 5 touchdowns. This is compared to his 2010 season with 72 receptions for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns. Why he just wasn't able to get into the endzone, I don't know.
As far as grading him, it wasn't hard. There is plenty of film available of him doing big things.
Hands: A- Bowe's hands are the kind that we need: sticky. He almost always catches a ball with his hands, but sometimes uses his body to stop the ball. Will extend relatively high to pull a ball down if overthrown (A lot of players don't like to do this, it leaves you wide open for some cracked ribs). He makes some of the most acrobatic, theatrical catches in the NFL (This can be a direct testament to his hands) and doesn't loose focus when bobbling the ball, enabling him to pull it in. Every once in a while he will drop the easy ball, but not too often.
Speed: B+ He has great breakaway speed but isn't always able to gain a step on his man, forcing him to make a play on the ball (Tends to work out in his favor due to his physical play). I would like to see more straight-line speed out of a No. 1, but in all it's not like he's moving in reverse... Jabar.
Route Running: B+ He's not very explosive with his route running, but can effectively use subtle movements to freeze defenders (head fakes, shake&bake, etc.). Because of his lack of straight-line speed, his routes DO tend to be more crisp. Those ins and outs actually look like an upside-down 'L' instead of an upside-down 'J'.
Agility: A He's quick. Upon reeling in a pass on a curl or in-route, he can quickly turn and gain needed yardage. This, coupled with his ability to break tackles, has proven to be very dangerous. He led the league in broken tackles. An astounding 11% of his catches would result in a broken tackle.
Reliability: A That's right, reliability. I am going to start using this as a grade for potential Redskins. Bowe played in every game for the Cheifs, but missed a few starts due to family issues (Coach claimed that he didn't follow protocol declaring a family medical emergency). Injuries haven't been too big of a problem, he suffered a concussion late in the 2011 season, but it doesn't look like anything (initially) will hinder his play. The only reason he doesn't have an A+ is remembering his 2009 season. In 2009, Bowe only played 11 games due to a 4 game suspension for drug use. No, it wasn't marijuana... Bowe tested positive for a diuretic, which is known to be used as a masking agent for anabolic steroids. Hopefully, his 'roid-rage days are over.
Here we are going to look at some film for him. This one has been called his ping pong touchdown.
Cassel launches one to Bowe, who placed a great move on his man and ended up wide open.
Bowe bounces off the first tackler.
Uh oh, here comes another with a head full of steam.
Not happening. Bowe breaks the second for a touchdown. That is where I believe he is the most dangerous, after the catch .Disregard the video placement bar. That thing is so annoying. Let's look at another one.
Bowe is going to come across the middle on a quick slant. Cassel will hit him right in the numbers.
First he breaks away from his man, then stares the safety down. Giving him a shake & bake, Bowe cuts it further inside. There's another defender waiting, though...
He successfully navigates the three defenders, tossing a stiff-arm into the third for a touchdown. Again, I can't stress how many broken tackles I have seen while watching film on this guy. Last one, here we won't look at a touchdown, rather the YAC (plus of course a few broken tackles).
In case you can't read the captions, Bowe catches a Cassel pass, leaping mind you, at the Indy 48. He has 3 defenders surrounding him, basically confirming he will be tackled.
Bowe finally gets pushed out at the Indy 33. That's 15 yards after the catch and two broken tackles. These kinds of plays are a dime-a-dozen for him.
Bowe is the kind of player that the WR corp needs. He has the name to bring the attention to him, the ability to produce as a No. 1, and can bring experience to the younger guys (Hank, Austin, Armstrong..etc.). While he doesn't have the blazing speed, his YAC will be considered more than his 40 time because of the Redskins west-coast style offense. Whether he will be franchised or not is still up in the air, given that Chiefs DB Brandon Carr is a house name as well. Bowe has been the mainstay of the Chiefs' passing game since entering the league in 2007. He is a well known name in the Chiefs house as well as across the nation.
The Redskins have a lot of holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball, and will use the draft for many. I can see Bowe in Burgundy and Gold, though. He's a big guy and can not only catch, but support the run/screen game. Tell me you wouldn't mind having a crack block from Dwayne Bowe? Watch out, Redskins Nation, that No. 1 receiver slot will be up for grabs this season.
I'll continue my 'route' here and be posting another FA profile next week on Vincent Jackson.
Tomorrow Steve will look at what it may cost to bring Dwayne Bowe and Carl Nicks to the Redskins.
Thanks to UKRedskin for passing along some film pointers and collaborating with a new photo tool.
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