2017 NFL Draft
Prospect: Carl Lawson
Prospect: Carl Lawson
Ht: 6'-2" Wt: 253
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When considering Lawson's draft stock, every scout says it starts with a healthy 2016 season. Unfortunately, after being a freshman All-American, he missed all of the 2014 season and half of 2015. Needless to say, a full and healthy junior campaign would go a long way to prove worthy of a first round selection. That is certainly a possibility considering the skillset he has displayed on the field.
Lawson has a tremendous combination of initial burst and power. He explodes off the snap which often puts opposing linemen off-balance from the start. He also has violent hands. When he sees his opponent punch he counters with heavy hands often succeeding in keeping him free. He gets low to turn the corner and is too strong for linemen to slow once he gets the edge on them. His handwork is very good, and he uses a variety of moves when rushing the passer.
We don't see him bull rush his opponents very often but in general, he converts speed to power very well. He may not have great long speed but in the box, he can seem like the most explosive player on the field. As a run defender, he uses those strong hands to stay free and separate from linemen. He also has a very good motor. The competitor in him really comes out when he doesn't get to the ball. He doesn't like to finish a play on the ground or with an opponent haven beaten him.
The one issue I consistently see that he has to address is there are snaps where he pops straight up. He has some success when playing with his hand off the ground because he is athletic enough to fake one direction, get the lineman to commit, and then counter. I think that is why he does occasionally play too high, but he negates his strength when he does so. It will also work far less in the NFL where his athleticism will not be as superior of that of his opposition.
Also, as powerful as he is I think he could get stronger in his lower half. When he is moving forward, his strength shines, but I don't see him, anchor, well when linemen really get their hands on him, or he is double-teamed. His future in the NFL is likely as a strong-side end, and the ability to hold his ground in those scenarios is essential. Still, the biggest area he can improve is to be on the field for a full season or two depending on when he chooses to enter the draft.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Tamba Hali (Kansas City Chiefs) or Kony Ealy (Carolina Panthers)
- Outstanding first-step quickness
- Heavy, active hands
- High motor and counters well
- Disengages well
- Highly competitive
- Can occasionally play high
- Could add strength to his lower half in order to anchor better
- Injuries have been the major issue
- Production doesn't match the ability (5 career sacks)
1)   Auburn happy to have Carl Lawson back   - HoustonChronicle.com |
2)   Carl Lawson earns top grade in Auburn's loss to Clemson   - OANow.com |
3)   Carl Lawson's leadership felt on and off the field for Tigers
- OANow.com |
4)   Carl Lawson Twitter|
5)   Carl Lawson Instagram|