Over at the mothership, they’re grading all the major trades from today’s NFL trade deadline. For the Los Angeles Rams’ move for Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE Dante Fowler, Jr., they’re giving us a solid grade for the move:
Los Angeles saw an 8-0 team and said “we can be better.” So the Rams pushed even more chips to the middle of the table and acquired Fowler, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Fowler’s career has yet to live up to that billing. A torn ACL kept him from the field in ‘15, and he struggled to crack the starting lineup of a stacked Jaguars defense the past three seasons. But he’s been a strong situational pass rusher along the edge — and that’s exactly what Los Angeles is looking for in order to make opponents pay for double-teaming Aaron Donald inside.
Fowler has 14 sacks and another 22 quarterback hits in 39 games as a pro and is still just 24 years old. He’ll now pair with Michael Brockers to add some extra pressure along the edge alongside Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
The Jags could afford to make this trade with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue holding down their starting defensive end spots. With Fowler due for free agency this spring, he was likely headed toward a new start anyway. Shipping him to the Rams gives him a head start on that — all while recouping some significant draft assets in return.
Rams grade: B+
Jaguars grade: B+
Me personally, I’m cool with a B+ but might hedge it up a notch to an A-. It’s such a low cost for such high upside. At worst, Fowler doesn’t really pan out and the Rams spend a 3rd round comp pick and a 5th round pick for a conditional 2020 NFL Draft comp pick. At best, we get a nice edge rusher at a bit of a market discount depending on how much we might re-sign him after some solid play.
What grade would you give the move?