When the NFL free agency period opens March 13, the 49ers are expected to be active participants.
One player who appears to be a good match is outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.
Fowler, who went to the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams this past season, was picked up from the Jacksonville Jaguars before the trade deadline. In the final year of his contract, Fowler played eight games for the Rams, had two sacks, 21 tackles and five quarterback hits. The former first-round pick out of Florida in 2015 – he was No. 3 overall – is a fine pass rusher off the edge. After missing his rookie season due to injury, he’s had seasons of four, eight and four sacks for the Jags and Rams and could add some zest to any team in need of an edge rusher.
The 49ers, who definitely want to do just that, could sign a player such as Fowler while also using the No. 2 overall pick on a defensive end with pass rush potential, such as Josh Allen of Kentucky.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com believes the 49ers and Fowler would be a logical match. Recently, Sessler linked Fowler to the Niners in his look at possible free-agent matchups for every NFC team.
Wrote Sessler of the 49ers going after Fowler: “Just another team seeking someone to bum rush the quarterback. Fowler was a genuine help to the Rams down the stretch and sits squarely on the radar of coach Kyle Shanahan, who recently told reporters, per NBC Sports: ‘We’re always interested in adding pass rushers, and he’s a good pass rusher to add.’ Fowler plus another edge force with the No. 2 overall pick would transform San Francisco’s defense in a hurry.”
The analytic website Pro Football Focus gave Fowler the highest grade of his career in 2018 and noted that “although Fowler hasn’t quite lived up to his first-round potential, he is a young, developing pass-rusher” whose best seasons may be yet to come.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Free-Agent-Fowler-Could-be-Good-Fit-With-49ers-506325531.html.