[NOTE: To make it easier to follow all of Big Blue View's draft coverage, I created a 2010 NFL Draft section. You will find all of the prospect profiles and other draft coverage there.]
Our series of NFL Draft prospect profiles who might interest the New York Giants continues today with a look at an intriguing linebacker -- Navorro Bowman of Penn State.
Bowman is a player who most scouts seem to believe has first-round skills and the ability to play all three linebacker positions.
But, off-the-field trouble might have Bowman headed for a Mario Manningham-like fall in this April's draft.
The question NFL scouts have to answer about Bowman does not appea to be about talent. It appears to be about attitude, and whether or not his off-the-field issues are isolated incidents he will grow out of.
Let's take a closer look.
Navorro Bowman Scouting Reports
SB Nation's Mocking The Draft has this to say about Bowman, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker capable according to most reports of playing all three LB spots.
He has a shot at being a top 20 pick because of his NFL ready speed and quickness. In a league that placing less value on size and more on speed, Bowman is going to be sought after by many teams. The lack of size will likely be an issue for Bowman however, and it could keep him off the field in a starting role for the first year or so. Linebackers that play as physical as Bowman but don’t have the size are an injury risk. But if he can stay on the field, his level of play will be a factor if he can get the protection up front from a big, blocker-eating defensive line.
Fantasy Football Toolbox is unquestionably enamored with Bowman's skill set.
Navorro Bowman is the best 4-3 outside linebacker prospect for the 2010 draft. Bowman has great speed for a 232-pound linebacker and is equally effective rushing the passer or dropping into coverage. Bowman has obvious first-round talent, but his mile-long list of off-the-field incidences might scare some teams away. ... Bowman is excellent against the run, and rarely misses a tackle if he gets his hands on the ball carrier. He has solid coverage skills, and the speed to turn and run with NFL tight ends and running backs. He will need to work on not biting on play action, because his speed won't save him at the next level.
Why Bowman fits with the Giants
The Giants, obviously, have a need for speed and athleticism at linebacker. Bowman possesses those traits. Besides, how can you ever go wrong with a Penn State linebacker? Also, if Perry Fewell is going to play mostly zone coverage, Bowman seems to have the skills to fit into that scheme quite nicely. In a pass-happy league that is more about speed and quickness these days than size and strength at the linebacker spot, I don't worry about Bowman's relative lack of bulk.
Why the Giants should pass
Bowman might be a great guy, but he has had a pair of run-ins with the law while at Penn State. Arrests for disorderly conduct and marijuana possession have to be considered. The Giants need to be sure all that stuff is behind him.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Big Blue View on 'Twitter.")