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NFL Draft

Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • April 25, 2021
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Every year, the NFL draft gives us a handful of under-the-radar prospects who make the big jump from college football to the pros.

Former Northwestern wide receiver Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman has a chance to be one of this year’s gems. Bowman enters the draft after having a career year in 2020. He led the Wildcats in both receptions (41) and touchdowns (five) this past season.

Bowman spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his experience playing nine positions in high school, battling with Greg Newsome II at practice, which teams have shown the most interest in him so far, and why an organization should use one of its draft picks on him.

JM: You played quarterback, wide receiver, running back, cornerback, safety, kick returner, punt returner, kicker, and punter in high school. It’s not abnormal for guys to play multiple positions in high school, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like this (laughs). How did those experiences make you a better all-around football player?

RB: Back in high school, we had a need at all nine of those positions (laughs). They were roles that had to be filled. I was a versatile player back then and I’m a versatile player now. It taught me a few things. Firstly, I learned how to be a team player. If you wanna win at the end of the day, you have to put your best players in a position to be successful. It was all about trying to help the team succeed. I was that player. My coaches put that trust in me. 

I learned that no one player is more important than all 11 players on the field. It’s a team effort. If we needed a punter, I stepped up to the plate. I answered the call. It taught me how to utilize my skills. Mostly, it taught me how to be there for my teammates. I did what needed to be done in order for the team to have success.

JM: That’s terrific. You led Northwestern in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2020. How do you reflect on your final year as a Wildcat?

RB: I’m extremely thankful for the season I put together. I also wanted more though. We wanted more as a team and I wanted more individually. We didn’t reach our goals. We set out to achieve some things as a team in 2020 and we fell a bit short. I had five touchdowns, but I wanted six or seven. If I had seven touchdowns, I would have wanted eight or nine. That’s just the way I am. I know what we had around us. We had the best locker room. My teammates wanted the best for me and I wanted the best for them. 

Looking back on 2020, I learned a lot. I had a ton of opportunities to do things individually and for the team. I’m just happy that I got to showcase a bit of my talent. I’m thrilled for some of my teammates that had the same opportunity. We had a big senior class. We have a bunch of guys preparing for this draft. Guys like John Raine, Peyton Ramsey, Riley Lees, Gunnar Vogel, JR Pace, and Greg Newsome, we all had a chance to shine in 2020. We’re on the come-up. When I truly reflect on this season, I’m so thankful but I know there’s so much more to be tapped into.

JM: I love your outlook on that. You mentioned Newsome there. Many are expecting him to be a first-round pick. With you being a receiver and him being a cornerback, you must have had some fun battles in practice.

RB: We did that every day. Since Greg first came in, I knew he was gonna be a special player. He’s a few years younger than me, but we bonded since the first day he stepped on campus as an early enrollee. We went back and forth at practice. We always competed with one another. We knew that we were both great players and we made each other better at practice. We definitely looked for one another during one-on-one drills. We matched up during 7-on-7. 

The funny thing about Greg and I was the conversations we would have after practice (laughs). The time we spent in the offseason together was fantastic. We took that time to really build and teach one another. That time was so valuable. Our bond got stronger. We worked after practice. We watched film together. We loved watching DB’s and WR’s on film. We were so thorough. We talked about making this league and what it was gonna take to be great. We picked each other’s brains. We built a relationship over the offseason. We counted on one another for anything and everything. He’s a good dude and an even better teammate. I’m happy to call him a friend. I’m even happier to see him in the position that he’s in right now. His life is about to change, but he’s not gonna change.

JM: That’s a terrific story about what sounds like a great player and an even better friend. Do you have a favorite route to run?

RB: I love an inside stem. I love every route really. I love making every inside stem look exactly the same. Running out of those stems, whether it’s a corner route or a deep out, running that corner off of an inside stem and losing the cornerback at the top of the route, that’s a lot of fun for me. I can build up some speed and cut out at the last second. Nobody can keep up with me when I get out of my breaks.

JM: That’s a nice choice. You’ve spent the last few months meeting with teams virtually. How’s that process going for you, and who are some of the teams you’ve met with?

RB: The process is going well. I understand my position as of now. I’ve been answering the calls while trying to showcase who I am as a person and as a player. I’m showing teams what I’m all about both on and off the field. I’m letting everybody know what I’m gonna bring to an organization. 

They’ve seen the film. They understand the skill-set that I bring to the table. The other things that are extremely important, not only can I contribute to a winning football team, but I have all the intangibles as well. I’m talking about my ceiling. My ceiling is so high because I’m willing to put the work in. I’m willing to be self-aware. I understand what I’ll need to do in order to continue being a pro. I’ve been trying to articulate that throughout this process. I’m telling teams what I’m all about. I’m taking it all in day by day. I’ve spoken with the Colts, Packers, and Cowboys throughout this process. Several other teams have shown interest in me by contacting my agent or coaching staff at Northwestern. Those teams include the Saints and Dolphins.

JM: There’s a lot of interest in you and it’s easy to see why. I’ve really appreciated your time. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of its draft picks on Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman?

RB: I’m a versatile player. I’m a person that’s gonna bring a lot of energy and production to the table. I’m gonna help my teammates become better players. I’m gonna make the team better. An organization is gonna benefit from having me around. I’m gonna make big plays on the field. I have the ability to continue to improve. I haven’t reached my ceiling. I still have a lot of untapped potential. I’m only going up from here. I’m gonna hold myself accountable. I’m gonna hold the whole team accountable. We’re gonna continue to rise up. We’re gonna achieve the ultimate goal together and win a Super Bowl.

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