Dante Fowler Jr., OLB

School: Florida  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 261 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.562.691.5919 32 1/29'4"4.327.40

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

In 2013 -- Fowler's first season as a starter -- he was recognized with the SEC Defensive Player of the Week against the most gifted offensive line he faced (Tennessee) and earned second-team all-conference honors by the league media for his play, recording 50 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

He has struggled against the run and needs to play more assignment sound, but the versatility and skill-set is exciting for the next level, and Fowler projects as one of the 2015 class' top available pass rushers.

Besides demonstrating the character traits that will endear him to his future NFL team (and fan base), Fowler possesses the athletic attributes to warrant first round consideration - perhaps as early as a top 10 pick. Fowler is strong enough to handle defensive end duties in a traditional four-man front but his light feet, balance and instincts will be equally valued by clubs looking for a stand-up edge rusher.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Values lies with his versatility. Depending on the situation the Gators line him up at RDE, LDE, DT, and OLB, ask him to rush from the two-point and three-point stance and occasionally drop him into coverage -- including after he has started the play with his hand in the dirt. Lined up primarily in the "BUCK" linebacker spot in 2014, and is best suited for a 3-4 base defense at the next level where he can disrupt the edge with his aggressive hands and explosive lower body.

Fowler's light feet and fluid athleticism belie his powerful, compact frame and make him a tough matchup. He is an energetic defender with above average get-off quickness and the athletic traits that make him a nuisance to block in space.

WEAKNESSES: To take the next step, Fowler must continue to get stronger at the point of attack and show improved recognition, as too often he charges into the backfield only to allow the ballcarrier to slip past him.

Compares To: Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens -- Like the 6-3, 260 pound Suggs, Fowler lacks ideal length for some schemes but he's a passionate, productive edge rusher with Pro Bowl upside.

--Dane Brugler & Rob Rang

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Player News
05/05/2015 - Why Jags took Gator Fowler with No. 3 pick..."To have a LEO that can play at 260 pounds and play the run down, that's a good thing," the Jaguars general manager said. "Sometimes you have a LEO that is just a third down rusher and only weighs 245, 250 and has a hard time holding up in the run down. We have a LEO that can rush the passer but also play first and second downs against the run." There is no debating Fowler's talents, especially his versatility. He could bull-rush an offensive tackle back into the backfield on one play, set the edge on knocking down a pulling guard on the next and on third down, he might be dropping into zone coverage for a brief time before zeroing in on the quarterback for a sack.

How important is it to be known as a guy that can play all three downs? "It shows guys that I'm a complete player," Fowler said. "I'm very versatile and that's what guys really like about me. The motor comes but my big part of it is that I'm a jack o all trades and I can play more than one spot."

The last time the Jaguars drafted a defensive end with their first pick in the draft was in 2008 when they picked former Florida standout Derrick Harvey. Fowler is hopeful the similarities end right there. Harvey never came close to gaining stardom. His work ethic was mediocre at best, he fought injuries and his eight total sacks in three years left the Jaguars no choice but to release him. Fowler doesn't appear to anything like Harvey other than their size. Fowler's motor never stops, Harvey's rarely got going. The Jaguars are counting on Fowler to be a game-changer. - The Sports Xchange



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