Shaq Lawson   DE/DT   Clemson

Shaq is a quality defensive lineman who because of his size and solid athletic talents can play in any style of defensive front inside or outside. He has a strong lower body with nice lateral quickness, which makes him able to play in a 2 gap run stuffing system or a 1 gap attack defensive line system. Shaq has excellent football intelligence and works well in his defensive scheme with his teammates. He understands his assignment and the purpose of what his assignment is supposed to accomplish which shows the excellent coaching that he has received. He can shed blocks and make tackles in the hole and he shows a burst off the line with strength and power to get into the back field and disrupt and make sacks. Like I said, Shaq is a quality football player with the athletic talent, football intelligence and skills to become the type of player at the next level that will make a play at the most important time of a game.

Although Shaq is smart, he seems to lack the consistency in his overall play that at times during a game makes him disappear against both the run and the pass. He doesn’t take downs off, but he does struggle to identify who has the ball at times. I think with a little more experience and technique work, this will become a non issue. Shaq might be a better pass rusher working over the guards rather than outside against tackles. When up against tackles, he doesn’t have the ability to turn the corner and unless he can learn better techniques he will struggle on the outside rushing the passer.

If Shaq works in a 4-3 front on the outside, he will have to learn more power pass rushing moves that will give him a more direct line to the quarterback if he expects to get double digit sacks at the next level. I have no doubt he can do that and become a defensive lineman very much like Michael Strahan was for the Giants at the peak of his career. Shaq has that type of talent. Right now, for his college team, he is up against the left tackle but truthfully he should be on the other side up against less athletic right tackles because of his power and strength. Shaq also would have an impact in a 3-4 defense sitting over the guards and tackles with a more direct line to the quarterback. This makes Shaq a player that just about all 32 teams would like to select in this draft. Having the power to stop the run and the natural leverage and lateral agility to get off the line and rush the passer should be Shaq’s ticket to fame in the NFL.

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2016