Each NFL season, every team has a player that bears a little added attention. So which performer could turn the corner for the Jacksonville Jaguars in ’17?
Welcome to yet another 32-team series from End Zone Score. In recent months, we took the time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers.
Every NFL season features players that come into their own after a slow start to their careers. It’s tough to tell when each performer’s coming-put party will take place. Some are immediate successes. Others take longer due to numerous circumstances, but they prove to be worth the wait. Here we will try and pinpoint a player from each team in the league that we feel is on the verge of putting it altogether.
DE Dante Fowler Jr.
Make it six straight seasons with 11 or more losses for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s a franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2007. Over the past nine seasons, the club owns a combined 42-102 record.
But thanks to some good drafting and free agency, the team has assembled some quality talent. One such player is defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. He missed his entire rookie with a knee injury. This past year, he rebounded to play in all 16 games. But he made just one start. Fowler’s numbers were adequate. He totaled 32 tackles and four sacks while batting down five passes.
Now he’s more than a year removed from that injury. And you can expect bigger things from the former Florida Gators standout. Someone is almost insisting that that’s the case when it comes to Fowler. “You saw flashes (last year) and we saw the athletic ability and, at times, the competiveness from Dante,” said head coach Doug Marrone just over two months ago (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times Union). “But we’re looking for players that are consistent with their production.”
This is an important season for Dante Fowler Jr. He must prove he’s fully healthy and ready to produce on a steady basis. The signing for veteran defensive end Calais Campbell (Arizona Cardinals) could be the best thing that happens to the younger performer.