Manny Lawson   DE   North Carolina St

Strengths

Manny is an excellent football player and athlete.  He was moved from OLB to the DE position and I think it was a very good move for him.  Despite his lack of bulk, he is strong at the point of attack and has a quick burst off the line to rush the passer.  Right now, he really doesnít have that many pass rushing moves so there is plenty of upside in his game.  He could play as a DE in a 4-3 or an OLB in a 3-4.  Manny is fast and strong and very smart.  He has first round talent and he is one of my personal favorites in this draft.   

 

Needs to Improve

He needs to bulk up, but not for strength.  He needs to bulk up to help him take the pounding of a 16-game season. 

 

Talent Board Round   1

This kid will start to move up in this draft as soon as he completes his workouts.  I donít think the scouts realize how athletic Manny is because everyone is always watching the junior at the other end of the D-line.  Manny just might be the better player in the long run.  Manny reminds me a lot of Jason Taylor (DE-Miami Dolphins). He has the same kind of build and plays the game with the same mental toughness and leadership skills as Jason.  Iím not sure how much bulk Manny can put on his frame, but I am sure that even if he canít bulk up, it wonít hold him back from being a future Pro Bowl player for the team that drafts him.  Manny is much better than you would think against the run and he is a more of a complete DE than most people give him credit for.  He's only played DE for two years and is just now learning what he can accomplish at that position.  He will grow into an intimidating player in a few years and a player for which teams are going to have to game plan.  He has not received the credit he deserves, but I have a feeling that by draft time, he will.  I call him Manny (Robert) Lawson because he must feel like the brother on Everybody Loves Raymond.  Everybody comes to check out Mario and forgets all about Manny.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

January 2006