Fowler was referring to edge rushers, but that 2011 pass-rushing group also included the NFL's premier defensive player, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, and Robert Quinn, who developed into one of the NFL's top pass rushers with the St. Louis Rams. That's an awful lot for the 2015 class to measure up to. Miller, Smith, Watt and Quinn have combined for 195 sacks in four seasons.
Fowler emphasized the depth of this year's edge rushers, going beyond the elite prospects to illustrate the greatness of this year's crop of pass rushers.
As for Fowler, he is expected to be the first pass rusher drafted. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the No. 3 overall pick, called him Monday, and they aren't the only ones showing him late attention. Others include the Atlanta Falcons, who pick eighth; the Washington Redskins, who pick fifth; and the New York Jets, who pick sixth.
If this class is anything like the 2011 group, several teams could end up happy with a pass rusher.