Amidst the gathering of young talent over the course of the last three seasons in Jacksonville, it’s easy to forget that a fully healthy Dante Fowler intends to make an impact in 2017.
Fowler, a former star first at St. Pete’s Lakewood High and then with the Gators, is now fully recovered from a freak non contact ACL injury during rookie mini camp 24 months ago. And, he is obviously highly motivated for several reasons to to have a breakout year.
One, with a new regime’, led by Tom Coughlin at the top and a new head coach in Doug Marrone, Fowler has to impress immediately for that reason. Second, a big third season will make the Jags contemplate whether to pick up his fifth year option on his rookie contract next spring. Remember, he was the third overall pick in 2015, and got his $24 million guaranteed and would obviously love to have another $6million in yearly salary coming to him in 2019.
It’s an intriguing stat graphic to see the jumps in 10 sacks or more that J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack and Vic Beasley from their first season on the field to their second. (Keeping in mind that Fowler does qualify for comparison, because he never even stepped on the field for training camp year one).
Keep in mind too that adding a veteran like free agent Calais Campbell to the defensive line will only help Fowler on the field, but also off the filed in the meeting rooms, the practice field, etc.
And then when you think about fellow young defenders Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, plus guys on offense like Yeldon, Lee, and now, Fournette, Robinson, Westbrook, etc. the Jags have got a ton of potential.
Add Fowler, as one who wants to be part of the “young guns” to turn around the Jaguars fortunes.