Neiron Ball is the first one. Working together as pass rushers for the last three years, Fowler saw the athleticism that he thinks can make Ball a sleeper pick in the NFL Draft.
With 94 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks in his career, Ball battled injuries and could be a steal for an NFL team if he can stay healthy.
“Neiron is freakishly athletic in how he can rush the passer and be a true WILL linebacker or SAM linebacker,” Fowler said. “Any coach would love to get him. I know he’s going to be a surprise.”
The other surprise Fowler sees is Leon Orr. He left the team after finding out he wasn’t a starter at Vanderbilt. Orr apologized shortly after it, but former head coach Will Muschamp wouldn’t allow him to rejoin the team. The defensive tackle worked out at Tuesday’s pro day, and he’ll take a visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Fowler over the weekend.
Fowler has seen multiple teams gain interest in Orr recently.
“He’s going to be a surprise,” Fowler said of Orr. “To see how good he looks at 6-5, 315 and he can move pretty well. I know he has been taking the interview process. I’m glad he’s able to be in front of them and talk to them. They have one-on-ones and man-on-mans. He’s going to be a surprise.”
In the weight room, it was center Max Garcia that had a big day. After playing center for one year, he led all players with 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
MAYOCK HIGH ON UF DUO: NFL Network’s draft expert Mike Mayock thinks the hype is real around potential first-round picks Fowler and D.J. Humphries.
There wasn’t much doubt about Fowler being a first-round pick once he announced that he would be entering the NFL Draft. It was only a question about where he would go. Some mock drafts, including Scout’s by Jamie Newberg, have Fowler going as high as No. 3 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers desperately needing a quarterback, anything other than Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota would be a big surprise. The questions being at No. 2 with the Tennessee Titans, who could also take a quarterback if they aren’t sold on Zach Mettenberger. If the quarterbacks go with the first two picks, Mayock thinks Fowler could be the first non-quarterback taken. If the two teams at the top of the draft weren’t so desperate at quarterback, Mayock thinks Fowler would have been in the talk to go No. 1.
“I like that fit for anybody, starting at one,” Mayock said. “He’s special. He and (USC defensive lineman) Leonard Williams are the two best defensive players in the draft. It’s two great football players. You just have to see which kid you like better and how it fits your scheme. They’re both really good. This kid (Fowler) has special ability.”
D.J. Humphries is now in the conversation to be a first-round pick after the NFL’s advisory committee originally told him that he should return to school. Mayock saw Humphries’ athleticism immediately on film and knew he had the potential at the professional level. After weighing in at 307 pounds at the NFL combine and at Tuesday’s pro day, Humphries is heavily in the conversation to be a first-round pick in this months’ NFL Draft.
“When you get that many offensive line coaches at a pro day, you know you’re going to get a heavy workout,” Mayock said. “It went twice as long as any other drill. Humphries has probably got the most athletic feet in the draft for any offensive lineman. He’s a first-round tackle. Does he have to start on the right side? Maybe, but he’s ultimately a left tackle in the NFL. He’s just going to get better and better with age.”