February 16, 2013

Rookie of the Year: Tim Bowens, 1994

Defensive Tackle, Miami Dolphins

Age: 21
College: Mississippi
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 317

Bowens was taken by the Dolphins in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft (20th overall) despite concerns about his weight and having played only nine games at the major college level. Still, he had performed well in pre-draft workouts and it was hoped that he would be able to dominate from the inside of the defensive line. While his lack of experience was apparent in his pass rushing during his rookie year, he excelled at stuffing the run.

1994 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
(Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20)

Sacks – 3
Most sacks, game – 1 at Minnesota 9/25, at NY Jets 11/27, vs. Detroit 12/25
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 2
Tackles – 44
Assists – 8

Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA
2nd team All-AFC: UPI

Dolphins went 10-6 to finish first in the AFC East. Won AFC Wild Card playoff over Kansas City Chiefs (27-17). Lost Divisional playoff to San Diego Chargers (22-21).

The next few seasons featured uneven play from Bowens, in which he dominated at times but not consistently. However, he broke out with a Pro Bowl season in 1998 as the Dolphins ranked third in defense. Bowens continued to give Miami solid play in the middle of the defensive line. While he struggled with his weight, he could be surprisingly quick in spurts. He was selected to a second Pro Bowl in 2002 but a back injury limited him to two games in 2004, his last season. Always far better against the run than the pass during his 11-season career, Bowens had a total of 22 sacks and was twice selected to the Pro Bowl. While widely perceived to be a risky first-round draft choice in 1994, he went on to have a solid pro career.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).