The Ravens made sure to load up on defense in the 2017 NFL Draft, selecting four defensive players in their first four picks. In the second round, the Ravens selected a player that has many around Baltimore buzzing, Tyus Bowser. A pass rusher with loads of potential.
Bowser went to John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. As a defensive star coming from a big time high school program, Bowser earned recognition from many top schools. In fact, at John Tyler High School, Bowser played alongside former Mississippi State wide receiver Fred Ross, who signed with the Panthers on a undrafted free agent deal this season.
Bowser also played with and against two of the most prolific college quarterbacks in the nation. John Tyler’s quarterback during Bowser’s attendance, who would follow Bowser to Houston was Greg Ward Jr. Not only did Bowser get to play with Ward, but he also lined up against another future NFL talent as well, as shown below:
Bowser is in the background wearing the blue number 81 uniform, and the player with the ball is Pat Mahomes II, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In his senior year of high school, Bowser was dominant as a pass rusher. Over 15 games, Bowser totaled 24 sacks and five forced fumbles.
But football wasn’t the only sport where Bowser was a star in his senior year. On the basketball team, Bowser averaged 16.8 point per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and nearly two steals per game.
Bowser, a three-star football recruit as ranked by ESPN, would receive 10 offers, highlighted by schools such as LSU, Oregon, and Oklahoma State. Bowser actually originally committed to Oklahoma State, and later decommitted, before eventually choosing to stay close to home and play for the Houston Cougars.
At Houston, Bowser was presented the opportunity to play both football and basketball. However, Bowser only played in four basketball games during his career at Houston, deciding to focus solely on football. This proved to be a wise decision, as he became one of the nation’s best edge rushers over his college career.
In his freshman year at Houston, Bowser appeared in 11 games, tallying 5.0 sacks, 26 tackles, 5.5 of them for loss, one interception, two passes defended and one forced fumble. He saw his production dip in his sophomore year, but he ramped it back up again with his junior campaign.
In his junior year, Bowser played 14 games, accumulated six sacks, 51 tackles, seven of them for loss, three passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble. In the national spotlight against a Paxton Lynch led Memphis team during his junior year, Bowser accumulated nine tackles as well as a pass defended. Against Florida State in the Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six bowls, Bowser impressed with 0.5 sack, three tackles, including 0.5 tackle for loss.
Many predicted Bowser to have a breakout senior year after the Peach Bowl, and he responded well. While he started just eight games due to an injury in his senior year at Houston, he nevertheless produced impressive numbers.
In the biggest game of the opening weekend of the 2016 college football season Houston faced off against Oklahoma, a team that would go on to win the Sugar Bowl. Bowser impressed on the national stage with one sack of Baker Mayfield, four total tackles, one of which being for loss, as well as one forced fumble.
Later in the season against Tulane, Bowser had three sacks and 11 tackles, three and a half of them being for loss.
Bowser would show up on the national spotlight again the week after the Tulane game as his Houston Cougars took on eventual Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals. Bowser had one sack of Jackson, five tackles, one being for loss as well as two passes defended. Bowser was one of the leaders of a Houston defense that rattled Jackson in a way no other team was able to do throughout the Louisville quarterback’s Heisman campaign.
All in all, despite playing in just eight games, Bowser finished the 2016 season with 8.5 sacks, 47 tackles, twelve for a loss, with four passes defended and one forced fumble.
This high level of production throughout his career was only amplifed with Bowser’s great performances throughout the pre-draft process. Bowser burst onto the NFL Draft landscape at the Senior Bowl, as one of the most impressive players in both practice and in the game. He was also able to show off his NFL ready frame, most notably, his long arms.
Bowser built on his strong showing at the Senior Bowl with a brilliant combine. At the combine, Bowser ran the 40 yard dash in 4.65 seconds, 21 reps on the bench press, a 37.5 inch vertical leap, 127 inch broad jump, and 6.75 second three cone drill. In addition, during linebacker drills Bowser demonstrated fluidity and overall athleticism. Bowser has always showed to have high end athleticism, and his ability to play two sport, football and basketball, well helps to prove that.
Eventually, the Ravens would choose to select Bowser in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In Bowser, the Ravens are getting a player who knows how to bend the edge exceptionally well. Bowser is a twitchy pass rusher who gets great burst off of the snap. As his career at Houston progressed, Bowser demonstrated improved ability against the run, reflected in his higher tackle numbers in his junior and senior seasons. In addition, using his athleticism, Bowser showed the ability on tape to cover tight ends effectively when dropping back into coverage.
If the Ravens can develop his inconsistent technique, especially his hands, then Bowser will demand time on the field sooner rather than later. It’s very possibly the Houston product could start in his rookie year if he impresses in training camp like he has throughout the draft process so far. Bowser’s potential is through the roof. If he can reach that potential, the Ravens have in fact landed a future superstar.