With so many needs at various positions, the Chiefs had to make a decision - offense or defense? They chose offense primarily because their value board dictated it, and that’s why they chose Bowe, a playmaker at LSU. He can come in and start right away for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs like the fact that Bowe is a natural football player. He adds a physical presence down the field, and the Chiefs now have four big, tough guys who won’t be out muscled by opposing defensive backs. In a pro-style offense at LSU he caught passes from the first overall pick, quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
“I talked to JaMarcus,” said Bowe, “and he told me that [the Raiders] were going to whoop us.”
At LSU, like any young wide receiver, Bowe dropped some catchable balls, but so did Georgia Tech wideout Calvin Johnson, who went second overall to the Detroit Lions.
As a three-year starter who caught 154 balls and scored 26 touchdowns for the Tigers, Bowe is in a position to become a starter for the Chiefs in 2007.
Rookie wide receivers don’t usually contribute much in their first seasons, but don’t tell that to Herm Edwards.
“We only have four wide receivers right now,” said Edwards. “He’s going to be in the mix. We’ve become very competitive at wide receiver.”
Edwards wants all of his receivers to be more physical. Bowe is that and then some.
“Yeah, when you watch him play he’s physical - big and strong and can go inside,” said Edwards. “What I like about him is there are little windows you have to catch the ball in between. It’s over the middle, and he’s not afraid. One guy is not going to tackle this guy. He brings energy. When he’s on the field you have a sense of his energy. You can feel him as he plays. He’s one of those kinds of guys.”
The temptation to select Brady Quinn might have altered the Chiefs’ position on Bowe. While it was discussed, it was doubtful the Chiefs, with so many other needs to fill, would have done anything other than trade that pick to acquire more draft choices for 2007 or 2008.
Instead, the Cleveland Browns moved ahead of the Chiefs and traded their 2008 first-round choice, plus this year’s second-round choice, to grab Quinn.
“There was a lot of discussion,” said Chiefs President Carl Peterson. “There were people interested, and you saw what happened right before our pick with Dallas and Cleveland.”
The Chiefs were anything but disappointed with the selection of Bowe, however. Two weeks ago, they told Bowe, who made Kansas City his last stop on his pre-draft visits, they’d strongly consider drafting him if he was on the board when the Chiefs picked.
Clearly, they did their homework on him. Chiefs Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich said Bowe has great ability to run with the football.
“The one thing that impressed me when I watched this guy was his yards after catch,” he said. “I mean, he’s a big, strong physical guy who breaks tackles and that’s what really is impressive.”
“You’ve got a big receiver in the Red Zone and, as Herm said, you’ve got a guy who breaks tackles on crossing routes. He’s a very accomplished route runner, one of the better route runners in this draft. There’s not much not to like. He brings an up-tempo energy and he’s a tough guy.”
That’s something this offense sorely lacks. Bowe could bump Samie Parker from his starting spot next season because even though he’s a rookie, he plays football with a style that more suited for the Chiefs’ offense.
“I’m intimidating, and when I’m on the field everybody knows that I’m going to work whether it is catching, blocking or running,” said Bowe. “Whatever it takes to win - that’s what I add to the team. Most people look at me as a big dominating blocker who can catch the ball and do something with it. I see myself as an all-around receiver.”
That’s why the Chiefs took Bowe, and not Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem, who went 27th overall to the New Orleans Saints. If Kansas City had traded down, they quite likely would not have been able to get what they believed was the second-best wide receiver in this draft.
Bowe joins a Chiefs team where he is also familiar with the man that might throw him the football in 2007 – second-year quarterback Brodie Croyle.
“He’s a great guy on and off the field,” said Bowe of Croyle. “When he steps on the field, he can throw the ball and makes plays. That’s what a team needs and I want to come in there and make plays as well. We’ll see what happens when I get there.”
If Croyle to Bowe becomes a hot connection, this pick might reap dividends for the Chiefs for years.
PRE-DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT:
Positives - Big possession wide out who significantly improved consistency as a senior. Sells routes, settles into the open spot of the defense and always works to be an open target. Lays out for difficult receptions or gets vertical to get the ball from the air. Displays good hand/eye coordination, effectively uses the sidelines and makes the big reception in stride. Solid downfield blocker.
Negatives - Lacks the deep speed and cannot stretch the defense. Occasionally drops a catch-able throw.
Analysis - Productive throughout college, Bowe has the physical makeup and dimensions to be a number two receiver at the NFL level. Has his game on an upswing and offers starting potential as a rookie.