According to most draft experts, Dante Fowler Jr. coming out of Florida is the second best defensive prospect in this draft, which means a very high pick, mostl likely to the Washington Redskins or the Atlanta Falcons.
Fowler himself is hoping to be a third overall pick, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He likes their defensive scheme which enables him to be a pass rusher who is something of a hybrid defensive end with an outside linebacker. He has already attended a workout with the Jags under the watchful eye of Gus Bradley, and he has visits schedules with the Buccaneers, Titans and the Falcons.
But both the Bucs and Titans are going to take quarterbacks more likely than not. The Jaguars might be interested in Fowler, but they also have their sights set on Leonard Williams, another defensive end, and also Amari Cooper, the number one wide receiver in this draft. The one guy the Jaguars don’t take will fall to fourth and get taken by the Raiders.
The Redskins have the fifth overall pick and are probably going to try and add a pass rusher. Fowler fits the mold of an edge rusher who is big in size, something similar to Brian Orakpo who left the team to sign with the Tennessee Titans. The Falcons’ connection is interesting because of Dan Quinn, the team’s new head coach, who was part of the coaching staff in Gainesville in 2012, coaching Fowler for a short while.
Despite completing his Junior year with Florida, Fowler is only 20 years old. He racked up 14.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in his college career, showing the ability to both rush the quarterback and drop into coverage as an outside linebacker.