Former Florida pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr.’s NFL career did not start off how he hoped. Fowler, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2015, tore his ACL in the first day of rookie camp. Last season, his first playing the NFL, his penchant for drawing flags frustrated his coaches and his lackluster production (32 tackles and four sacks) had him sharing playing time with rookie Yannick Ngakoue.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash recently told Mike Kaye of First Coast News that he’s seen improvement from Fowler this offseason.
“Dante has matured a lot,” Wash said. “You [saw] him a little more and more as the season went on last year. He is more focused on the little details. He is definitely here early in the building a lot more. You just see a young man mature, which is really good to see because he is a good football player.”
That improvement is not just in Fowler’s maturity, which should lead to fewer flags, but also his ability to get to the quarterback.
“We see a lot of improvement in the pass rush side of things,” Wash said. “Obviously we’re not coming speed to power. Everything is speed-based right now. You see improvement in his hands, his get-off. A lot of it was, [new defensive line coach Marion Hobby] had to fix his stance. He has concentrated a lot on that and you see the explosion and burst that we’re looking for.”
If Fowler continues to improve in both areas, he could be in line for a breakout season, just a bit later than many in Jacksonville expected when he was drafted two years ago.