With the 2015 NFL Draft a little over a week away, it’s time for draftniks to start locking in their mock drafts. Todd McShay over at ESPN has somehow already made his 5th iteration this year, and he’s going with a very familiar pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars at number 3.
"3) Dante Fowler Jr. – Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)COLLEGE: FloridaClass: Jr HT: 6-2 WT: 261 POS: DEAnalysis: I think this comes down to Fowler (the No. 7 player on my board), Leonard Williams (No. 2) or Amari Cooper (No. 3). I’m going with Fowler because I think he makes the most sense in terms of need. Williams would fit both in Gus Bradley’s base 4-3 defense as a D-tackle and the many three-man fronts they run as a defensive end, and Cooper would provide a No. 1 target for an offense and a young QB in Blake Bortles that really needs one. But they need a pass-rusher more, with interior D-linemen like Tyson Alualu and Jared Odrick and receivers like Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee already on the roster, and Fowler’s ability to play both on the line and as an outside linebacker makes him a perfect fit in the “Leo” edge-rusher role in Bradley’s scheme."
Fowler is a popular pick among draft analysts, but McShay’s analysis here is… dubious. He notes that newly signed Jared Odrick is an interior lineman, but in reality he was brought in to replace Red Bryant at defensive end. Odrick can kick inside in a pinch, but that’s not his primary role. I also doubt Fowler will be brought in to play any outside linebacker in this defense – Fowler would essentially be the ‘heir apparent’ to Chris Clemons at the LEO spot.
All the talk of Fowler is really making me lean towards the Jaguars not taking him at 3, especially if Leonard Williams is on the board. In this scenario, McShay has Williams falling all the way to number 7, which is pretty insane. I don’t think the Oakland Raiders pass on Williams. McShay is also extremely low on Vic Beasley – he has him going 13 to the New Orleans Saints – and I think the Jaguars are seriously considering him at number 3.
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