Shaq Lawson: Cowboys DE Prospect

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Shaq Lawson was a 2015 Consensus All-American. He led the nation with 24.5 tackles for loss and was 4th in the nation with 12.5 sacks. He was 1st in the ACC in both categories.

Shaq Lawson

Shaq Lawson had a good showing in the 2016 CFP National Championship game. Lawson Logged four tackles two sacks and several quarterback hurries.

Shaq Lawson sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the Orange Bowl on New Years eve, but if you watched him play against Alabama, it didn’t appear to slow him down. It had been reported that Lawson said his pain level was eight on a scale of ten. This is a good indicator of his toughness and willingness to face adversity by playing through injury.

Shaq Lawson Shaq Lawson, DE

Height}Weight: 6-3   270

College: Clemson

40 Time: TBA

Grade: 96.5

Round: 1 #2 on our board

In his first year at Clemson in 2013, Shaq Lawson saw action in all 13 games. He logged 35 tackles and four sacks. The four sacks tied William Perry and Ricky Sapp for the most by a true freshman in Clemson history. Lawson again saw action in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2014 and made one start. He logged 44 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Lawson finally became a starter his junior year in 2015 and instantly began to draw interest from scouts.

Film Study:

  • Shaq Lawson has a thick powerful frame with a wide upper body and thick muscular legs… Strong fast hands… Get’s good arm extension and has a good punch that he uses to control the LOS… Powerful at the point of attack… Versatile: can play in a 4-3 or 3-4… Sets a hard edge… Solid against the run or the pass… Good tackler… Excellent snap anticipation and comes off the ball low with burst and forward lean… Uses his quick hands to shed blocks… Good instincts and understands his assignments… Quick for a big guy… Imposes his will on blockers… Has the bulk to sustain double teams… Good closing speed to chase down the QB…
  • Shaq Lawson is raw and only has one season as a starter… Lacks elite athletic ability and hip flex… Needs to refine his technique… Despite having a decent sized bag of tricks, he needs to learn some more pass rush moves… Relies too much on his power at times… Needs to improve his first step when trying to beat the blocker to the edge…  Plays too high at times…

Overall, Shaq Lawson has all of the traits I look for in a DE. Teams avoid running the ball to his side because he is so efficient at reading run plays and meeting the ball carrier in the backfield for a loss. Lawson is a projection pick and I believe that once he develops his technique and improves his get off he will be an All-Pro defensive end. NFL Comparison: Justin Houston.

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  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Lawson is better than the overrated Vic Beasley.

    • Al

      You’ve got that right.

      • Gabriel Carrasco

        Vic Beasley was a one trick pony. He should never have gone as high as he did. All he had was his speed, and once NFL OT got used to that, he was neutralized all season. You have to win with power, speed, and counter moves, because your first move is not always going to work. Beasley has one of three. Lawson primarily wins with power, but can win with speed just inconsistent in that area. I honestly feel he and Lawrence are similar players, in the way they play. With Lawrence being the better guy at capturing the edge.

        • I wouldn’t complain with Tank at RDE and Lawson at LDE with a new 1 tech and a healthy crawford. Lawon just needs time to develop his technique. He has good burst going forward or to the inside, but needs to improve his quickness to the edge. He is excellent vs the run.

          • BigDIndiana

            A rusher from DE at 1 and a 1 tech with 2nd pick would make me very happy. My best scenario. Still a chance Bosa could be there. San Diego let Weddle walk….thus Ramsey, and they need OLine and could take the ND Tackle(my 1st round surprise). Bosa plus Reed, Billings, Butler, etc and I would dance on my coffee table.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            I’m slowly leaning to Vernon Butler in round 3.

          • BigDIndiana

            doubt he makes it to round 3

          • Butler looked pretty good in the Sr Bowl

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            He threw Whitehair around like a rag doll. Obviously he won’t be able to do that, to bigger and stronger guys. But if he can do that, to an NFL level OG in Whitehair, he should be able to dominate a lot of the OG in the league, with his overall strength. Unlike a lot of guys, he knows how to use that strength on the field and not just in the weight room.

          • I have to agree, but I don’t see him getting out of the 2nd round

          • BigDIndiana
          • Gabriel Carrasco

            He threw Whitehair around like a rag doll. Obviously he won’t be able to do that, to bigger and stronger guys. But if he can do that, to an NFL level OG in Whitehair, he should be able to dominate a lot of the OG in the league, with his overall strength. Unlike a lot of guys, he knows how to use that strength on the field and not just in the weight room.

          • Butler looked pretty good in the Sr Bowl

          • Give me a trade down with a DE in the 1st and a 1 tech plus scooby in the 2nd lol.

          • BigDIndiana

            if we don’t drop back too far we could still get a Lawson, Robinson or similar. One draft I hope we move back a few for a pile of picks. Giants take Scooby in the 2nd LOL

          • That would be my ideal scenario, but what everyone is forgetting is if Smith goes down, it doesn’t matter who is at QB: we are SCREWED. They have got to sign a solid swing tackle. Free is far from a top tier OT as well. This is why It would be hard for me pass on Tunsil if he is there at 4.

            This class is deep in pass rushers. There will be some solid DEs and/or DTs in the 2nd round. In a perfect world they sign a solid swing tackle, 1 tech and SS in free agency. This way they can go best available player in every round and not have to reach. Signing a CB in FA would be great too.

            There are way too many needs for the few draft picks we have. Top tier DEs are getting QB money these days so using the 4th pick on one makes perfect sense. A top tier OT is a must. We can’t put Romo’s health in the hands of Green. He has never suited up in even a preseason game. Free has had injury issues and is avg at best. Maybe signing a FA like Schwartz from Cle and making Free the swing tackle is an option too. Or moving Martin over to RT. Heck I dunno. We are screwed depth wise in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

          • BigDIndiana

            They really need to fill some gaps in FA. Last few years GMs got crazy paying way too much early, thus they probably wait out the early signings. I wouldn’t pass on Tunsil either but I doubt 2 teams ahead of us with bad OLines pass…but you never know. Titans stunk on the line and got Mariotta killed. I really hope Green steps up and can be the swing.

    • Al

      You’ve got that right.

  • californy

    Lawson look great in the big game despite not being healthy, can you imagine what a healthy Lawson would look like. I have him as our top Pick in rd number one in a trade down for additional picks in rd 2,3,4,6th in this year draft

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