One name you probably haven’t heard much about as of late is the former 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft, defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. Fowler was ranked as the top defensive prospect in the entire draft after an amazing season with Florida in 2014 where he had 60 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. He was named to the 1st team all-SEC after that dominant performance. Fowler’s great size and ability to blow up plays were all key reasons as to why the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Fowler with the 3rd pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Unfortunately for Fowler, on the first day of mini camps he tore his ACL and was immediately ruled out for his entire 2015 rookie season. Due to his injury Fowler immediately faced criticism and was deemed a bust after many people wondered if he would ever be able to return to form on the field. Last season Fowler returned to action, and while he didn’t have a spectacular season he still showed signs of potential and showed flashes of versatility. Fowler finished his first NFL season with 23 tackles and 4 sacks playing mostly as a backup/alternate.
This season Fowler has had time to fully heal from his ACL injury and study football to increase his football IQ, which should make him a huge defensive asset. Fowler is now set to start as a defensive end, lined up alongside newly acquired free agent Calais Campbell and 2nd year player Yannick Ngakoue to collectively create a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
Dante Fowler is a soon to be house hold name in the NFL. He is a very athletic, versatile, and strong defensive end who will be a monster in both pass rushing and run stopping. There is absolutely no doubt that he will break out with the potential for 50+ tackles and 8+ tackles. Fowler truly is a future star.