Bowen brings depth to a LB corps that needs it (Photo Source)
With the 147th overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills have selected Iowa State linebacker Alvin "Ace" Bowen.
The Bills entered this draft with a need for more depth at linebacker after losing special teams aces Mario Haggan and Josh Stamer in free agency (Haggan was suspended as well). Enter Bowen, an undersized but aggressive linebacker that plays the game hard and can deliver a big hit. He immediately becomes a favorite to be a "starter" on the team's kick coverage units based on his hard-hitting nature alone.
Measuring in at 6'1", 223 pounds and timed at 4.75 seconds in the 40 yard dash, Bowen is an explosive athlete that is known for his sideline-to-sideline range and plays faster than he times. He is, once again, a typical Dick Jauron player - high character, blue-collar worker with a non-stop motor and the ability to help the team out in more than one way. Again, he's about as safe a prospect as you can find in the fifth round and should contribute from day one in Buffalo.
What's interesting about Bowen is his potential pro position - in Buffalo, he could either play linebacker on the weak side (where his 223-pound frame fits best), but Bowen's coverage skills are so good that he could even make the switch to strong safety. He's got a Coy Wire aura about him, but he's a much better athlete than Wire ever was. A position change of that magnitude may be a difficult one for Bowen to undertake, but it's an option that the team may explore early on in his career.
The Bills have now made six selections in this year's draft, and four of them have come on the defensive side of the ball. With four more selections, will the Bills turn their attention to building depth on the offense? Will they trade up to grab one of the better offensive prospects remaining (TE Kellen Davis, FB Owen Schmitt)? Stay tuned to Buffalo Rumblings to find out.