2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 15 Dante Fowler, Florida
We’ve reached the Top 15 of our Top 100 SEC players list and will unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
15. Dante Fowler, Jr., DE, Florida
One of a handful of SEC Defensive Player of the Year-type talents this season, Fowler anchors one of the league’s toughest front sevens on the outside edge. Alongside defensive tackle Leon Orr, Florida has quite the pass-rushing duo this fall in a competitive Eastern Division and must be dominant defensively while Kurt Roper’s new offense works out the kinks under quarterback Jeff Driskel. Fowler’s more strength than speed and is proficient at smashing running backs before they get to the outside.
NFL Draft eligible after this season, we’re expecting a major increase in sacks and production behind the line of scrimmage with scouts watching every snap. At times, the former five-star was hidden on a bad team as a sophomore and underperformed, leading to questions about his potential as an every-down end at the next level. Likely too big to play at the linebacker spot, the 6-foot-2, 275-pounder should feast on SEC competition this season in his permanent spot up front on D.J. Durkin’s defense.
Double-digit sacks will lead to a first-round selection if Fowler manages to stay healthy and pushes forward in his development.
2013 statistics: 50 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
2014 projection: 52 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks