I will have a full breakdown of Florida defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. finished soon, but in the meantime, I was asked by a reader to break down all 8.5 sacks that he had in 2014.
Here they all are as requested.
Fowler’s first sack of the season came in the Gator’s second game of the season against Kentucky. As you will see when you watch a large selection of tape of fowler they moved him around quite a bit. On this play Fowler comes free on sack through the A gap and easily beats the running back on his way to recording his first quarterback takedown.
Fowler’s second sack of 2014, which was recorded as a half, came against Tennessee and I wish I had a better angle of it to show you. Fowler sets the left tackle up inside before beating him around the outside edge. The entire Gator front did a good job of collapsing the pocket on this play.
On this sack against LSU, Fowler really has to work to get it. While the inside linebacker came free on a hug blitz to get the initial pressure that forced the quarterback off of his spot, Fowler works through the tight end and then the running back to get the sack.
Against Georgia, Fowler’s lone sack in the game came late in the third quarter on a five man pressure. Fowler shows off his speed and ability to bend on this play as he comes from two yards off the ball on the numbers to easily beat the lunging Georgia tight end.
Against South Carolina, Fowler shows that he can get off the ball quickly from a two-point stance. I have two shots of this play for you and you can clearly see the right tackle is reaching for him right away. Once again we see some good bend.
In the game against Florida State we again get to see Fowler work hard to get a sack. As it was with his first sack of the season, Fowler attempts to blow through the A gap only this time the center is there to meet him. Fowler spins to the inside to get the initial pressure on the quarterback and after losing his footing he quickly gets up and to get the finish.
Fowler’s final three sacks of the 2014 season came against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. His first one included him showing that he has some power as knocks the right tackle backwards and off balance by getting both of his hands inside and under the pads.
Fowler’s second sack in that game came several seconds after he initially dropped into coverage. Once he sees the quarterback move off of his spot to his side of the field, Fowler quickly races around the lineman and 13 yards later he gets the coverage sack.
Fowler’s final sack of his college career included him delaying slightly at the snap of the football as he first acts like he’s going to carry the tight end up the field. Once he gets into his rush he easily beats the left tackle to the inside on his way to the quarterback.
Fowler is very athletic and very versatile and it’s no wonder why he’s considered a first-round prospect. Florida lined him up all over the place in 2014. He played over the nose, as a three-technique, five-technique. He stood up quite a bit and they blitzed him from all different spots. It’s easy to see why he would fit the Pittsburgh Steelers defense should he somehow still be on the board by the time the 22nd pick rolls around.
However, after watching a lot of film of Fowler, I am a bit surprised that he only managed the 8.5 sacks last season. As previously mentioned, I will have a full look at Fowler in an upcoming post, so be on the lookout for it. I have two more games of his that I want to watch first.