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Dante Fowler | Defensive Lineman

Team: Florida Gators
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 277

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Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar worries about Florida EDGE Dante Fowler's "ability to get off blocks in every area at the NFL level."
"At 6'3'' and 261 pounds he has the size and speed to be a stand-up linebacker and a hand-on-the-ground defensive end, but I don't always see the ability to penetrate protections that he'll need to be a multi-sack guy in the pros," Farrar noted. "Fowler is a pursuit player with incredible range for his size and impressive recognition skills, but he tends to over-run on rushing plays. I'd like to see Fowler get a bit more directionally aware, and when he does, he'll be an amazing player. He already is in a lot of ways." It may sound like Farrar is down on Fowler, but that's not really the case. The analyst ranks the Gators' prospect as the No. 11 player in the class. Feb 26 - 9:43 PM

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NFL Films' Greg Cosell said two names came to mind when watching Florida EDGE Dante Fowler's game tape: Clay Matthews and Justin Houston.

"He really impressed me on film," Cosell said. "Watching him live just enhanced that." The analyst added that he started to get more "blown away" the more he watched of Fowler. "Moves really well," Cosell said. He went on to say that the prospect was used all over the place by Florida and has supreme versatility. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock compares Fowler to Kansas City OLB Justin Houston.
Feb 25 - 9:40 PM

Florida EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. moved up seven spots to No. 7 overall on his latest top 32 rankings.

"He is an ideal "Sam" linebacker with the potential to play over top of tight ends on early downs and rush the passer as a defensive end in a team's sub-package," Brooks writes. That clarification is an interesting one, as Brooks does not see Fowler as an every down defensive end but only moving to that edge role in sub-package personnel. We aren't sure if Fowler has the athleticism to stick as an off line of scrimmage linebacker, but instead his best asset is disrupting as a rusher.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 25 - 1:09 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. could be the Jacksonville Jaguars guy at No.3 in his latest mock draft.

"Jacksonville has drafted offense in the top-five (OT Luke Joeckel, QB Blake Bortles) in the first two years of the David Caldwell era so the Jaguars' focus turns to defense this year. Fowler is a pesky pass rusher that loves to stress offenses and should make an impact on day one," Brugler wrote. The Jaguars currently lack an elite-level pass rusher, and the Florida prospect could be an option, if the versatile Leonard Williams is off the board. The other top edge rushers in play in the top-5, may lack the size and strength the Jaguars prefer off the edge.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 24 - 2:10 PM

Florida EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. moved up from No. 11 to No. 3 on Joel Klatt's post Combine big board.

"While he doesn't have the explosiveness of Shane Ray or Vic Beasley, he is probably the more complete defender," Klatt writes, calling attention to Fowler's dense 260 lbs frame as an opportunity to play on every down/ Fowler is ahead of the game in terms of his hand and length use to win off the snap or on counter attempts. Don't ask Fowler to bend the edge, but he combines quickness and power and could be a top 10 selection.
Source: Fox Sports
Feb 24 - 11:02 AM

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. "probably has to be an outside backer for a 3-4 team."

"He's got those first two steps," the scout said. We think the 6-foot-3, 277-pounder could succeed in a variety of schemes; he showed versatility at Florida, excelling all over the defensive line and at outside linebacker. "Played on a very average football team but stood out," another scout said. "You saw offenses (slide) his way. Double-teaming and chipping. Definitely a pass rusher first. He has the athleticism and skill to play outside linebacker."
Feb 24 - 1:23 AM

Florida EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. recorded a 1.56 10 yard split on his 4.61 forty.

Fowler arrived in Indy weighing 261 lbs at 6'2 1/2" with 33 3/4" arms. He is already ahead of the game in terms of hand use and power on first contact. However, Fowler's weight fluctuated at times during his Florida career, so this kind of straight line athleticism is nice to see.
Feb 22 - 10:52 AM

A pro personnel man said Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. "competes on every single play."

"That guy competes on every single play," he said. "You know what you get from him." The quote comes courtesy from a column by Pete Prisco in which the scribe wonders where all of the 4-3 edge rushers have gone. Spread offenses, one theory posits, have cut down on the amount of big defensive ends in favor of speed. "It makes it harder to find them," one defensive coach said. "The big, power ends are almost a thing of the past. The 265-pound ends we all need are all now 235-pound guys who might have to stand up." Because of this, the 260-pound-plus Fowler is in high demand. "In a league starved for edge rushers, Fowler's stock is on the rise," Prisco wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 21 - 2:53 PM

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock compares Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. to Kansas City OLB Justin Houston.

ESPN.com's Steve Muench has also made this comparison, while NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Fowler to Khalil Mack. This is how Muench explained the juxtaposition: "Whether [Fowler] has the same kind of elite physical tools as Houston remains to be seen. Houston ran in the 4.6s after measuring 6-3 and 270 pounds with 10 7/8-inch hands and 34 1/2-inch arms coming out of Georgia. If Fowler, who is 6-2, 271 pounds, posts similar numbers, he could challenge for the top defensive end spot in this class." Fowler will get that chance at the combine later this week.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 17 - 12:43 AM

An AFC East college director of scouting said Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. will be "way better" in the NFL than he was in college.

"He's had to play at different weights and different spots on the field, and I think he's finally understanding how to use his athleticism to dominate a game," the scout said. "He will be way better in the pros than what he is now." McShay's colleague Steve Muench recently compared Fowler Jr. to Kansas City OLB Justin Houston, while NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Fowler to Khalil Mack. "His pass-rush approach lacks efficiency and includes too much wasted motion, and OTs with length can lock him out and run him over the top," Zierlein wrote. "He's a competitive pass rusher getting by on athleticism and inside moves right now, but he's an explosive player. If he takes coaching and addresses his rush technique, he has a Pro Bowl ceiling with double-digit sack potential."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 12 - 11:12 PM

Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. fell to the Saints and the No. 13 selection in Todd McShay's latest mock draft.

"The Saints could consider Stanford left tackle Andrus Peat here and then move Terron Armstead inside, or they could fill their need at cornerback by drafting either of the top two prospects at the position, Washington's Marcus Peters or Michigan State's Trae Waynes," McShay wrote. "But Fowler has the versatility and relentlessness that Rob Ryan is looking for. He isn't an elite athlete but has good flexibility, violent hands and efficient counter moves as a pass-rusher, and he has experience playing multiple spots among the D-line, as well as outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment." McShay's colleague Steve Muench recently compared Fowler Jr. to Kansas City OLB Justin Houston, while NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Fowler to Khalil Mack.
Feb 6 - 12:11 AM

Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. is similar to Kansas City OLB Justin Houston, believes ESPN.com's Steve Muench.

"Whether he has the same kind of elite physical tools as Houston remains to be seen," Muench wrote. "Houston ran in the 4.6s after measuring 6-3 and 270 pounds with 10 7/8-inch hands and 34 1/2-inch arms coming out of Georgia. If Fowler, who is 6-2, 271 pounds, posts similar numbers, he could challenge for the top defensive end spot in this class." It's comparison day for Fowler. Earlier on Wednesday, NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compared Fowler to Khalil Mack. Added Muench: "While he doesn't bend the edge as well as the elite pass-rushers like Dwight Freeney in his prime, he's quick enough to gain outside leverage on offensive tackles, does a nice job of dipping his inside shoulder, and closes well when he works around the edge. Offensive tackles have some success at neutralizing Fowler when they get their hands on him, but he flashes the ability to knock blockers off balance with his powerful upper body."
Feb 5 - 1:46 AM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. to Khalil Mack.

"Both are very explosive movers and learning to play the game," Zierlein wrote. "When you watched Mack on tape last year, you could see him get better as the game went on as he figured things out. I think Fowler is in that mold. I think he will figure things out when he gets a full-time position instead of being moved around." Fowler is a hand use maestro. His counter moves are majestic, though Florida allowed him to freelance in ways he might not be permitted to in the pros.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 4 - 8:23 PM

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay believes Florida junior edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. could be a fit with the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 8 overall pick.

"They're going to wind up in a position to get a good player," McShay said via conference call. "If I'm them, I’m hoping that a Randy Gregory (Nebraska OLB) or a Shane Ray (Missouri DE) falls to them and they are able to get a player that’s a little bit more explosive, but (Florida Gators DE Dante) Fowler is a versatile defensive lineman, too." In his time at Florida, the 6-foot-3, 277-pound Fowler was allowed to freelance frequently, as he attacked from multiple angles and alignments. We think Fowler's best traits are his hand use, counter moves and ability to win on the outside or working back in. McShay believes Fowler "has one of the highest motors of any player," and notes that "he and Shane Ray are two guys that just never quit."
Jan 30 - 2:51 PM

Dan Quinn, the Falcons next HC, recruited Florida EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. while working with the Gators.

Obviously there is a lot of dot connecting that can be done here. The Falcons desperately need an edge rusher, they have the No. 8 pick, Quinn and Fowler have history... but really, the decision will come from Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff. Fowler "was one that we thought would develop into a pass rusher," Quinn said. "His first year there, he played right away as a true freshmen." We think Fowler's best traits are his hand use, counter moves and ability to win on the outside or working back in.
Jan 29 - 10:45 AM