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2015 NFL Draft: Jalston Fowler Scouting Report

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What will the former Crimson Tide big bruiser bring to the Titans?

Jalston Fowler rumbling through the Mizzou defense
Jalston Fowler rumbling through the Mizzou defense
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Player Name: Jalston Fowler

H/W: 5'11 254

Position: Fullback/Halfback

School/Class: Alabama/RS Senior

Measureables: 4.94 40, 33.5" vertical jump, 9'6" broad jump, 4.40 shuttle, 7.56 3 cone drill, 23 reps on bench press

The Tape

Highlights 2

2015 Combine workout

Fowler vs Michigan 2012

2015 Senior Bowl

Highlights 1

Pros:

  • Size - Fowler has it and then some. An old school type of fullback that harkens back to the days of Mike Alstott, Lorenzo Neal, and others of that ilk. He has a pretty good frame with little to no bad weight on him. Although I'd prefer it if he slimmed down a few pounds to 245-250 to maintain conditioning for the rigors of the NFL season.
  • Athleticism /Instincts- Surprising amount of it given his size. Fowler has quick feet (insert Kendall Wright tripping all over himself joke here) and can move well laterally. Knows when and how to attack the line of scrimmage given various situations. Almost always makes the correct read on which blocking assignment to handle. Hidden gear that is shown when he gets going downhill. Versatility is a big plus. Knows where he's headed and attacks that area with vigor.
  • Hands - He has very good hands for a fullback. Soft hands and rarely body catches (but he doesn't get that many chances to begin with). Capable receiver out of the backfield on screens and flats. Does just enough to engage the defender on run blocking calls and not much more.
  • Character - A "first in and last out" type of guy. Possesses great work ethic and professionalism in going about his business. Mature beyond his years as he became a father of a young son and still maintained the hectic life of a student athlete. Fowler was declared ineligible in his HS senior season (age restrictions) but he still was a part of the program as an extra coach. This shows a tremendous amount of character knowing that he could've left the team entirely but stuck around to help his teammates get better.

Cons

  • Fundamentals - While Fowler is a good blocker once he gets to the contact point, it's just that he lacks the skill or knowledge of maintaining that block all the way through. He seems to make just enough of an effort to distract his assignment and nothing more like he's a wide receiver. Doesn't really give that hammer blow to defenders. Coaching in this area will be required.
  • Durability - A small concern as he missed the entire 2012 season minus the first game with knee injuries. However minor, it's still a thing to look for given the demands of his position and his injury.
  • Ball security - Apparently they don't teach it at Alabama or he hasn't been given the opportunity to learn it. High and tight the ball isn't. On some of the runs and receptions, he just hangs the ball out for an opportunistic defender to knock out. The Titans and the NFL saw the devastating effects of this when Peanut Tillman went on a force fumbles rampage a few years ago. Fowler would be well advised to take heed of those lessons very quickly.

Additional notes

It's pretty funny that the Titans' two fourth round picks probably faced each other on the field a time or two in the Iron Bowl. Fowler had a pretty solid homecoming effort in the Senior Bowl as a Mobile native. Senior Bowl director Phil Savage (he's been awesome in that role ever since he was hired) was on point during the video.

Final Summary

Head scratching pick at the time but I can see the logic behind this move. Fowler is a blend of the old school and new school fullback. He's a technically raw blocker but a willing one nonetheless. A pretty good receiver out of the backfield to boot. A surprisingly versatile athlete given his size and he could be a good special teams player until he learns the system. He can line up pretty much anywhere in the backfield with his skillset, even flexed out to TE on some packages. A valuable resource to have when you need a hammer to grind out the defense in the fourth quarter. In summation, I do like the pick after further research on Fowler.

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