No. 1: Dante Fowler, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams went all in on 2018, coming up 10 points short in Super Bowl LIII. Now, with the offseason in full force, the Rams will have plenty of financial decisions to make with quarterback Jared Goff’s rookie contract a year closer to expiring.
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This could mean parting ways with their 2018 midseason pickup, Dante Fowler, who never lived up to his 2015 No. 3 overall NFL Draft billing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yet Fowler’s stock rose considerably in L.A., particularly in the playoffs, where his ability to get to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees forced a game-deciding overtime interception in the Rams’ favor.
Fowler is just 24 years old, too. It’s not out of the question to assume his first few years were the product of a deep Jaguars defense cast, as well as a torn ACL stunting his development back in 2015.
Oh, and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh worked with Fowler in 2015 and 2016. They’d have some familiarity there, which should help with any pending transition to San Francisco’s 4-3 Under defense.
Fowler’s late-season surge will up his offseason price tag, sure. But he doesn’t have anywhere the accolades some of the players on this list have, aside from Shaquil Barrett.
That could keep a possible Niners move for Fowler in a comfortable range, and it’s never a bad idea to pluck talent from a divisional rival to bolster a team’s own needs.