Defensive line is one of the deepest positions in this year’s class, and Shaq Lawson is one of the more intriguing players in that group. A stocky defensive end who put up gaudy numbers as a junior at Clemson, some are projecting the 21-year-old to be selected as high as top-10 in the 2016 Draft.
At 6’3” and 270 pounds, Lawson entered Clemson as the top-rated prep school player in the nation, and after spending two years as a reserve he broke out with a monster season as a junior. In 2015, he totaled 59 tackles, 24.5 of which came behind the line of scrimmage, and 12.5 sacks. Both his tackle for loss and his sack totals ranked atop the ACC, and the former number led the entire NCAA.
Some have projected Lawson as more of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme than a defensive end in a 4-3. Others, still, think he could play end in a 3-4 formation because of his unnatural power. But if he were to be selected by the Eagles at #8, the consensus All-American would figure as a pass-rusher off the edge in their 4-3 front.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Impressive NFL-¬ready physique. Has natural strength and power in his hands and improved their effectiveness this year. Not a content player, Buckner plays with effort and will continue working hands and feet to improve his positioning. Light went on as pass rusher in 2015. Generated top-¬end production by combining his power and dynamic athletic traits. Improved his pad level as rusher creating dominating pocket push that he was able to convert into sacks and knockdowns. Rare tackle production for defensive lineman with 163 over last two seasons. Long arms and good play speed allow him maximum field coverage to tackle. Flexible upper body. Can flip shoulders, then hips around the edge of blockers allowing him to play on the other side of the line. Has size and athleticism for scheme versatility. Quick off the snap and difficult to cut¬ off in run game.
What He Said
“I don’t (have anything) to do with the other (defensive) ends in previous years, I just focus on myself and me getting better as a player. I know it’s been unsuccessful for those guys, but I feel like I can still do what I do and come along and have a great career.’’ – Shaq Lawson on separating himself from previous Clemson defensive ends