Mayock: I'll be stunned if Dante Fowler isn't top-five draft pick

Ask folks who the top edge rusher is in the 2015 NFL Draft, and you're bound to get a handful of different answers.



NFL analyst Mike Mayock knows whom he would put at the top of his list though, and his take was solidified after Dante Fowler, Jr. looked extremely good at Florida's pro day Tuesday.

"Fowler is my No. 1 edge rusher," Mayock said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "Why? In today's NFL you have to do three things. One, rush the quarterback. Two, set a physical edge. And, three, drop into coverage. Fowler is the best at all three, in my opinion, in this draft.

"I will be stunned if he gets past pick No. 5. He's a top-five pick all day long."

High praise that is understandable considering Fowler (6-foot-3, 261 pounds) moves better than most linebackers already in the league and was among the most highly regarded pass rushers in the SEC during his college career.

While Mayock does not expect him to slip past Washington at No. 5, Fowler thinks he'll be off the board before then, saying earlier in the day that he would be surprised himself if he goes past Jacksonville and the No. 3 overall pick.

"I'm a top-five pick," Fowler told Mayock in an interview after pro day. "I'm the No. 1 defensive player coming off the board. When I say that, I'm not just saying it to say that. I'm the No. 1 guy because I have all the tools. Two, I'm physically ready. Finally, I have the passion for the game."

Of course, Leonard Williams might have something to say about that. A defensive lineman, Williams is considered by many analysts to be the most talented player in the draft regardless of position, including NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50. He is scheduled for a visit this week with the Tennessee Titans, who hold the No. 2 overall pick. Five of the six NFL Media mock drafts have the Titans selecting Williams; the one exception has them taking Fowler.

The top of the draft is slowly coming into focus as pro days subside and franchises set their boards, and it seems increasingly clear that Fowler occupies one of the top spots across the league.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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