Nile Lawrence-Stample: To Date
Lawrence-Stample was a three-star defensive tackle prospect coming out of high school in the class of 2011. After a redshirt year, he received garbage minutes and flashed outstanding athleticism as a freshman before becoming a key interior contributor in the 2013 interior rotation along with Timmy Jernigan, Demonte McAllister, and Jacobbi McDaniel. He was solid but unspectacular with 15 tackles and 1.5 TFL, and the Auburn game exposed him a bit as the Tigers were able to run the football when NLS was on the field in place of Jernigan.
Very good natural athlete for the position with plus short-area quickness and good explosiveness, runs well enough to have played linebacker in high school. Thickly built with a solid base and good overall bulk. Can be disruptive in a one-gap role due to surprisingly quick first step.
Can two-gap, though not as natural in that role as when he’s asked to get penetration. Does a good job recognizing plays and finding the football. A load to block when he keeps his pad level down and pays attention to hand placement.
Room for Improvement
A bit on the short side at 6’1 and isn’t especially long-limbed. Played last season at about 315 pounds, which was perhaps a bit much and included about 10 bad pounds. I’d prefer to see him closer to 310 and a little thinner around the middle, as he showed fatigue at different points last year despite the deep interior rotation.
Is inconsistent with his pad level, particularly when fatigued, and can get put on skates when he gets too high. Sometimes peeks into the backfield and gives ground while trying to get to a spot instead of controlling his blocker and then shedding to the ball.
Still needs improvement as a two-gapper in FSU’s scheme as he was nowhere near the powerful presence in the zero technique that Jernigan was in 2013.
Floor/Ceiling & NFL Potential
At this point his floor is fairly well established as a solid contributor and occasionally disruptive player on the interior. Projects at the nose tackle position in the NFL, but lacks the elite size and power most odd fronts want at that position, though there’s still room to show growth as a power player. I’d project him as a mid-round talent (somewhere around the fourth round) at this point, depending on how teams feel he would project in next-level defenses.
Jacobbi McDaniel. Both shorter but explosive players who can be disruptive on the interior. Hasn’t had the injury issues that held McDaniel back, however, and carries more weight, so has a bit more of a chance at the next level.
Outlook for 2014
It’s really tough to project NLS at this point. He was the most dominant interior lineman in the spring and won his share of battles against FSU’s elite guards but wound up getting hurt. I’m still not sure how well-conditioned he is after an off-season of rehab. Has the physical tools to take a step forward this year. FSU is depending on that happening, but I’m just not sure we see more than a moderate improvement on last year.
Projections: 280 snaps, 25 tackles, 3.5 TFL.