A potentially game-breaking talent who becomes the highest-drafted Florida Gators player in program history, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. heard his name announced early Thursday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Fowler, who proved to be impressive on and off the field during his college career and only raised his stock during the NFL Scouting Combine and individual team interviews, has shown tremendous athleticism and versatility. A prospect who possesses NFL size, speed, strength, character and smarts, Fowler was determined early on to be the top edge rusher available in the draft.
A 25-game starter at Florida over three seasons, Fowler amassed 140 tackles (34 for loss), 14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He proved to be relentless and dominant, commanding double teams and keeping pressure on the quarterback even late in games.
Fowler is the 12th Gators player to be drafted in the first round of the draft in the last nine years and 47th in school history, dating back to 1936. He is also the ninth overall Florida player to be picked by Jacksonville in the history of the NFL Draft, fourth to be selected by the franchise in the first round.
Fowler, who donned a white tuxedo with red piping and spiky gold shoes on Thursday, will be the second former Florida player on the Jaguars’ roster, joining safety Josh Evans, the last Gators player selected by the team (2013).
Round 1 – No. 3
Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB
Height: 6’3″ – Weight: 261 lbs.
Age: 20 – Class: Junior