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Shaq Lawson, DE

School: Clemson  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Central, SC
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 269 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.622.751.63- 3310'0"4.217.16

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Detroit Lions | #16
    The Lions boast one of the NFL's better young edge rushers in Ziggy Ansah, whose 14.5 sacks led the NFC in 2015. Lawson isn't the blue chip prospect that his NCAA-leading 25.5 tackles for loss would indicate, but he is powerful, agile and tenacious.
  • Carolina Panthers | #31
    Kony Ealy has flashed in his young career, but the Panthers could use another pass rusher opposite him with Charles Johnson on a one-year deal. Lawson might not be a long-armed, twitchy rusher, but he plays with power and instincts.
  • Chicago Bears | #11
    This would seem high for me, but the Bears are said to like him. I think this might be a case of a team over-drafting a player.
  • Chicago Bears | #11
    John Fox loves to take defensive players in the first round and might get a little more input this year after Kevin White spent his rookie season off the field.
  • Detroit Lions | #16
    With the Lions losing Calvin Johnson, building their defense back up to the point where it's one of the best in the league (as it was two years ago) is a good idea.

Player Overview

Lawson entered the 2015 season with more buzz than production, but officially broke out as a junior with an FBS-leading 24.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks and now projects as a top 20 pick.

"this #90 is a difference-maker!," an AFC scout message NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler while watching Lawson work against Notre Dame's highly-touted left tackle Ronnie Stanley in October. Lawson finished the game with seven tackles, including 3.5 of those stops for loss, beating Stanley with quickness and power.

Lawson announced on Dec. 8 that he planned to enter the NFL Draft following the College Football Playoff.

"I'm going to declare for the draft," Lawson said. "I sat down with my family, sat down with the support staff at Clemson. I enjoyed being at Clemson, but it's time. I'm ready for the next level."

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Lawson's compact frame and power make him equally effective against the run and the pass, where he shows surprising initial quickness and agility as well as a terrific motor. He has quick, strong hands to create push with his upper-body strength, showing the fluid lower body to drive his legs and smoothly change directions based on his reads.

Lawson is terrific leveraging blocks off the edge, using an iron shoulder and natural body flexibility to dictate his path and beat single blocks. Does a nice job setting the edge and playing contain, working off his blocks to the outside and finishing in space.

WEAKNESSES: Lawson needs to do a better job with his recoil to reset and react to inside runs.

COMPARES TO: Pernell McPhee, Chicago Bears - Like McPhee, Lawson lacks ideal height and length, but both are well built with violent hands, ball awareness and versatility. Only one season as a starter.

IN OUR VIEW: Lawson's heavy hands allow him to stack and hold his side of the line of scrimmage. He is a power player with the lower body athleticism to be equally dominant against the run and the pass, putting his draft value in the early rounds.

--Dane Brugler/Rob Rang (1/11/16)

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Player News
01/09/2016 - Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson remains sore but hopes to play against Alabama in the national championship game Monday night. Lawson hurt his left knee early in the Tigers' 37-17 win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve. He was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament, an injury that was still bothering him. Lawson rated his pain level at an eight on a scale of 10. But he said he's gradually felt better as the week wore on and believes he'll be on the field against the Crimson Tide (13-1). "There's a very good chance I will play," he said at Saturday's media session. Clemson is seeking to become the first 15-0 national champion.

Linemate Kevin Dodd said he was uncertain if Lawson's injury would allow him to play at the level he has all season. Lawson leads the Tigers with 10.5 sacks and the country with 23.5 tackles for loss. He apparently hurt himself when he swept around Oklahoma's offensive line to get in on a sack of quarterback Booker Mayfield in the first quarter. Lawson came to the sidelines after that. He said after the game that he felt his knee buckle a bit on an earlier play. Lawson spent the second half with ice on the knee cheering on his teammates, who outscored Oklahoma 21-0 during the final 30 minutes to advance. Dodd said he's seen Lawson work this week to get himself back in the lineup. - AP Sports



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