Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who’s set to be named the Falcons’ 16th head coach after the Super Bowl, is very familiar with one of the top defensive ends in the NFL draft.
While he was the defensive coordinator at Florida, Quinn helped recruit defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who could be available when the Falcons, who have the eighth overall pick, select in the 2015 NFL draft.
“Dante Fowler Jr. did a great job,” Quinn said. “In fact, I know him and his family well.”
Fowler was a five-star recruit from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood High.
“He was one that we thought would develop into a pass rusher,” Quinn said. “His first year there, he played right away as a true freshmen, which as you guys know just from being down there, it is not the easiest thing to do in that conference playing as a true freshmen.”
Fowler turned in a strong junior season before declaring for the draft. He had 60 tackles, including 15 for losses and 8.5 sacks. His 8.5 sacks would have led the Falcons last season.
He was named to the all-SEC by the league’s coaches. He had three sacks in the Gators’ 28-20 victory over East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.
“For him, I am not surprised at the success that he had over the last couple of years,” Quinn said.