Dante Fowler Jr. was all smiles Tuesday.
In his final workout in front of a cadre of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers, Florida’s former defensive end impressed and spent much of UF’s annual Pro Day in Gainesville signing autographs and joking with media members.
Twenty-two former Gators worked out in front of representatives from all 32 teams, but nearly everyone in attendance was there to see Fowler and D.J. Humphries.
Fowler didn’t run the 40-yard-dash, but the 265-pound hybrid end/rush linebacker showcased his athleticism, agility and mobility during positional drills. According to draft experts, Fowler is projected as a top-five pick and is a perfect match for Jacksonville at No. 3 overall.
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Fowler said he’d be “stunned” if the Jaguars passed on him and wants to stay in his hometown state. He’s motivated by greatness and wants to develop into an all-time talent pass rusher.
“I still have a big chip on my shoulder, and I have a lot of things to prove. I’m still working,” he said.
“When it’s all said and done, I want to be one of the great ones.”
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock called Fowler “a special player” and one of “the best two defensive players in the draft.”
On Tuesday, Fowler proved he could play in space and has linebacker skills. Over the next week, he has interviews scheduled with Jacksonville, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Atlanta, but he will not work out for any teams again before the draft.
Unlike quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, Fowler will attend the NFL Draft in Chicago on April 30 and hopes “to feel like I’m the first guy taken in the draft because I’m going on the stage first.”
Meanwhile, Humphries proved why he’s been soaring up teams’ draft boards, too.
The 6-5, 307-pound tackle, who reportedly met with the Miami Dolphins on Monday, has maintained his added weight without losing any of his lateral quickness or impressive athleticism.
Humphries ignored feedback he should return to school, and now the former five-star recruit is regarded as a sure-fire first-round pick.
“He has the most athletic feet in the draft for any offensive linemen,” Mayock said. “He is definitely a first-round tackle.”