ESPN draft “experts” Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have released their latest mock drafts, and Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers continues to lose favour.

Bowers, who had surgery in January to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, struggled at his Pro Day last week. And so with so many quality pass rushers up for grabs in this year’s draft class, analysts are finding it increasingly difficult to rank Bowers high.

A few months ago, McShay had Bowers going third overall. In his last mock draft in March, he had him going sixth. Now, he predicts Bowers will drop all the way to Tampa Bay in the 20th slot.

A few months ago, Kiper had Bowers going fourth overall. In his last mock draft in March, he dropped him to eighth. Now, Kiper predicts Bowers will fall to Minnesota at 12, which is exactly where I have him going. (Tomlinson pegs him to go to Houston one pick earlier.)

No. 12 seems to be the consensus as of late. More than half of the mock drafts I perused this afternoon had Bowers going in that spot. But I’m surprised that almost nobody besides McShay has Bowers dropping into the second half of Round 1. Every draft has its freefaller, and it’s becoming obvious that Bowers is that guy.

A few other interesting nuggets from the the new Kiper/McShay mocks…

  • Both guys lead with Cam Newton, Marcell Dareus, Von Miller, A.J. Green and Blaine Gabbert, in that order. I still don’t see how Carolina could be crazy enough to picked red flag-plagued Newton with the top pick, but whatever.
  • Both continue to predict that Jake Locker will end up being selected by Seattle 25th. I’m not sure Locker will last that long.
  • McShay has Canadian offensive lineman Danny Watkins going to Pittsburgh with the 31st pick. Kiper has Watkins going to New England with the first pick of Round 2.