Fowler rocketed up the drafts boards following the combine and established himself as one of the most versatile defensive players in the draft
If the bigger-name defensive ends don’t pan out on the open market, guys like Dallas’ Anthony Spencer or Seattle’s O’Brien Schofield make a little bit of sense as stop-gaps or veteran types to bridge to potential rookie draft picks. If Quinn wants to affect the quarterback, grabbing a first rounder and a solid veteran to pair together to rush the passer seems like a good backup route to me.
One other road the Falcons could take would be to pursue Baltimore DE/DT Pernell McPhee, whose versatility inside and outside kind of reminds me of Michael Bennett. Like Bennett, McPhee was extremely disruptive as a rusher in 2014, amassing a huge numbers of hits, hurries, and sacks. If Quinn sees a little Bennett in McPhee, he could really pursue the free agent strongly and attempt to plug him in in the same role he utilized Bennett in Seattle — playing a little “LEO end,” a little strongside end and rushing from the 3-technique in nickel.
As noted above, Fowler rocketed up the drafts boards following the combine and established himself as one of the most versatile defensive players in the draft. Not only can he rush the passer, but he also showed the ability to be a dominant run defender on the edge. McShay sees Fowler as a really good fit in the Jaguars’ 4-3 defensive scheme next to tackles Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks.
Landon Collins, Alabama, S (6’0, 228 pounds) – “He’s an old-school safety, big and explosive,” an NFL scout said. “He ran faster than anyone expected. He’s smart. (Coach) Nick Saban coaches the secondary at Alabama, so you know he’s smart and prepared. He is a very intriguing player. The passion is there.”
Vic Beasley, Clemson, DE/LB (6’3, 246 pounds) – Beyond his outstanding Combine numbers, Beasley made a strong impression with his versatility. “He just jumps out at you as a player and a person,” an NFL scout said. “He’s explosive, active, can play in the 4-3 scheme as an end or as a 3-4 rusher. He’s coachable. He’s got the motor.”