Carl Lawson   ER   Auburn


Carl has the get up and go, off the line you like to see in an OLB/DE or as we are now calling them Edge Rushers. He has the size and agility to be used as a cover linebacker with the foot speed to run down running backs behind the line of scrimmage on sweeps and screen plays. He is very smart and understands how to set up an offensive lineman for the impact sack of the game. Carl’s best attribute is his hand usage. He is the quickest in this draft of disengaging, shedding his blocker and making tackles or bending the corner and making the sack. He is very smooth and plays with very little wasted effort. He’s a long strider but with his quick feet is able to juke his opponent like a running back in the open field jukes a defensive back. He plays the game with such smoothness and little wasted energy that he can go unnoticed by most until the game is over and you look at his stats. Carl could play in any style of defense and at multiple position in your front seven but his best and impact position is as a OLB/DE or Edge Rusher in a 3/4 defense.

As I understand Carl has had some medical issues in the past that could affect his draft status if teams are not happy with the results. Also Carl plays light and when someone gets their hands on him he can be pushed around. Most of that is strength and conditioning and technique work. Medicals are the real key to his draft status and Teams running a 3/4 defense could rate him higher than teams running 4/3 defense.

Carl is really very talented but medical issues have held him back. He can become a big time impact pass rusher for the team that selects him but he needs to build up his strength in both the lower and upper body to do this. He has good techniques but he’s also thinking too much on the field and not just reacting. He’s allowing the play to be dictated to him rather than dictating and disrupting they play. He has to let lose mentally and I think his cautious play is left over from his injuries. Build Carl’s strength up and as soon as he gets the confidence that he is not going to get hurt Carl should be as good as any other Edge Rusher in the NFL but it will take some time and grooming. If Carl’s medicals and workouts are good it would not surprise me if he is selected higher than I have him rated. But remember Carl has a lot of little issues and confidence to work on before he can become the player his talents suggest that he can become.

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2017