Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Jacksonville Jaguars signed their first-round draft pick, Dante Fowler Jr., on Tuesday.
Fowler was the third overall pick by the Jags in the NFL Draft, but tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first day of practice at rookie minicamp late last week.
"We are excited to get Dante under contract," Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said. "Negotiations with Dante's representatives were ongoing prior to his injury last weekend and nothing has changed. His attitude and spirit that he has shown recently are part of the reasons we selected him third overall. He understands the process ahead of him and is willing to do the work. He has a bright future ahead of him with the Jaguars and we look forward to him getting back on the field in 2016 and for many years to come."
Fowler played in 37 games with 25 starts at the University of Florida and produced 140 tackles (73 solo), 34 tackles for loss, 14 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
"My focus right now is solely on getting better each and every day and attacking my rehab with the same mindset as a pass rusher," said Fowler. "I have only been around the organization for less than a week and it's been amazing to see the support of my teammates, coaches and staff members. I'm going to use my time this year to get stronger, faster and be ready to help my teammates on the field in 2016."
Fowler was the first defensive player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft and the second-highest defensive player drafted in Jaguars history (LB Kevin Hardy, 2nd overall, 1996). He is one of only two defensive ends to be drafted in the first round in franchise history.