Jacksonville Jaguars First Round Grade Roundup – Fowler Gets Passing Marks


The Jacksonville Jaguars had their pick of the litter at number 3 overall in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans both decided to take quarterbacks with their selections. With the spotlight squarely on them, the Jaguars made it clear that they thought defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was the best player in the draft by taking him with the their first round selection.

Luke Sims and I here at Black and Teal both approve of the selection, but what do the draftniks around the web think about the pick after the end of the first round? Here’s a quick roundup of the grades so far:

CBS Sports – Pete Prisco

"B+: I would have taken DT Leonard Williams here, but I love Dante Fowler and he fills a need for the Jags. Solid pick."

Walter Football

"B+: There was a huge misconception amongst the media that Leonard Williams was the No. 1 player in this draft. Teams we spoke to said otherwise, and several franchises had Dante Fowler as the top prospect. This includes the Jaguars, and Charlie Campbell deserves credit for first reporting that Jacksonville was going to select him. The Jaguars have needed a pass-rushing LEO for quite some time now. They rightfully passed on Dion Jordan and perhaps wrongfully eschewed Khalil Mack, but I think they’re getting it right with Fowler. He’ll provide a big boost for their defense, which needs help to battle Andrew Luck (and also Marcus Mariota)."

NFL.com – Bryan Fischer

"A: Team need? Check. Great player? Check. The Jaguars got a prolific edge rusher who can boost their defense and help chase down division rival Andrew Luck for years to come. You could argue the Jags should have taken Leonard Williams or that a trade down would have been a better move, but Fowler can have an impact early on for a team in need of playmakers"

Sports Illustrated – Doug Farrar

"A: The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr. with the third pick of the 2015 NFL draft. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks led the Jags with 8.5 sacks in 2014, and there was a clear need for head coach Gus Bradley to get his hands on a legitimate edge rusher."

SB Nation – Dan Kadar

"A: There was some thought late that the Jaguars would go after a player who wasn’t a pass rusher, but that turned out not to be the case. The Jaguars’ biggest need in the draft was someone to play Leo and that’s what they get in Fowler. He’s a player who can be moved around and someone head coach Gus Bradley will know how to utilize. Fowler is the type of pick who will help all areas of Jacksonville’s defense."

FanSided – Matt Verderame

"A: Fowler is a terrific piece to add for Jacksonville, which is beginning to put together a stout front seven. Fowler will play the 4-3 defensive end position for Gus Bradley, putting his hand in the ground across from Jared Odrick. Fowler is currently 6’2 and 261 pounds, an ideal size for an explosive pass-rusher at that spot."

Next: Dante Fowler Draft Grade

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