The NFL season is now over and it is officially draft season here at Over The Grill. We already published a new mock draft yesterday and Ryan will be publishing his updated one later this week. We have a bunch of scouting reports already out. Today we will look at Dante Fowler, an explosive pass rusher from the University of Florida.
Name: Dante Fowler
Position: 4-3 Defensive End, 3-4 Outside Linebacker
Weight: 261 Pounds
College: University of Florida
2015 Stats: 60 Tackles, 15 Tackles for Loss, 8.5 Sacks, 17 QB Hurries, 2 Forced Fumbles, 1 Fumble Recovery
After the jump you will get a breakdown of Dante Fowler’s pro’s and con’s as well as our grade for Fowler.
Pros: Fowler has solid natural strength and a very explosive first step. He has an impressive bull rush given his size and he reminds a lot of people of a young LaMaar Woodley. He has played all over Florida’s front seven, at linebacker, defensive end, and defensive tackle. He is a man that lives in the backfield, as shown by his 17 quarterback hurries and 8.5 sacks this year. He does a phenomenal job getting under the offensive linemen’s pads and uses his hands very well. He has good closing speed and does a good job in pursuit from the weakside. He is a freaky athlete who could run a very impressive 40 yard dash.
Cons: Fowler is not great against the run in terms of awareness. He does not maintain his edge as he likes to get after the passer. However, unlike with some other prospects, this is more about coaching then having to add functional strength. Also, he is not going to be a linebacker that can play in coverage very often as he doesn’t seem to natural at it
Our Take: Fowler is a phenomenal athlete and pass rusher, although not on Randy Gregory’s level in terms of pass rushing. However, he has far more strength then Gregory and with some coaching he could become a player that can be an every down 3-4 outside linebacker. However, he also could project as an every down 4-3 defensive end with a year or two of seasoning.
Final Grade: 93 out of 100
Fowler grades out very well as an athlete and a pass rusher and due to his strength, we believe he can become a solid player against the run. He should be a top 10 pick and we have him rated above both Vic Beasley and Shane Ray, two potential top ten picks.
Possible Draft Spots: Depending on how the draft plays out, I could see Fowler going as high as 4th overall to the Raiders. Other teams that could use him are the Redskins at 5, the Bears at 7, the Falcons at 8 and the Giants at 9. I have a hard time seeing him drop any further than that but if he does, teams like the Vikings at 11, Saints at 13, and Dolphins at 14 would love to snatch him up.
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