Dante Fowler Jr. is a beast of a pass rushing prospect. He’s set to be the top pass rusher taken in the 2015 NFL Draft or at least one of the top pass rushers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, picking at third overall, are in a position to pick any player they need. Whether it’s a wide receiver, a running back, or a pass rusher. So, what’s so much better about Dante Fowler than those other players?
Right after the NFL Scouting Combine, I compared Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory, and Dante Fowler to each other. Those three are generally considered the top pass rushing prospects and with a need at the position (Chris Clemons is currently projected to be the top LEO – dedicated pass rusher – for the Jags) the Jags could really take any of the three.
To me, Fowler doesn’t seem to be leaps and bounds better than Beasley or Gregory. Even Shane Ray should be in the mix. Fowler’s exceptional combine (though Beasley’s was arguably better) and big size make him an ideal fit, but it doesn’t discount the fact that the other guys could easily be justified as the pick. Yet with a nearly unanimous voice, outlets from Fansided to NFL.com are proclaiming Dante Fowler Jr. as the pick in their mock drafts.
It’s hard to fault them. He’s a gifted player, but does that make him a shoo-in?
In Daniel Jeremiah’s mock he states that, “Fowler is versatile, explosive and physical. He would be a great addition to Gus Bradley’s defense.” Bucky Brooks defends the pick saying, “The ex-Gator is a violent edge defender with a knack for creating chaos at the point of attack. He possesses the competitive spirit, nasty temperament and high football IQ that Gus Bradley desires in his defenders.”
The truth is that Fowler fits a need for the Jaguars and he is also good value at three overall. He isn’t Leonard Williams – arguably the best player in the draft – but is certainly a quality pass rusher and that nasty temperament may just be what the Jaguars are missing on the outside edge.
We’ve still got plenty of time until the draft in April, though. Expect some opinions to change. For now, however, it’s looking more and more like Dante Fowler may be coming to the Jaguars.
To me, that isn’t a bad thing.
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