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Scouting the NFL Draft: Carl Lawson

Big Blue Crew takes a look at Auburn standout Carl Lawson, amid draft rumors of the Giants considering taking a linebacker in the first-round.

After pumping out an impressive 35 reps on the bench press, Carl Lawson stock rose significantly, and is now seeing first-round considerations. In 2016, Lawson's potential shined through, after a few seasons being injury prone. He enjoyed a first-team All-SEC selection, and had 13.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks in his junior year. 

 

Most teams will enter the draft with skepticism regarding the oft-injured Lawson, and it's possible he slips to the second round. Despite being injury prone, Lawson is a super talent, and deserves to be up there with the top linebackers in the draft. 

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STRENGTHS:

 

Clocking in at 261 lbs., and standing somewhat tall at 6'6" is the Auburn product. Lawson's physical attributes headline his strengths, as he acquires great muscular definition and a strong upper body (35 bench press reps). His strength allows him to push tight ends off with ease, and can set the edge with powerful hands. His power allows him to force runs to the outside and can push blockers into runners, forcing them out of bounds. He can fight through lineman with strong slap and chops to avoid being controlled by tackles. Ultimately, Lawson has the physical attributes to be a top NFL linebacker. His burst is enviable, and is explosive when after the quarterback, usually making a b-line straight for the backfield.  

 

WEAKNESSES:

 

Lawson has been known to be injury prone throughout his career, and will be looked over by teams purely for that reason alone. His technique needs refinement, and struggles to utilize shoulders to get around blocks. He is overly predictable and is often stopped in his tracks due to his lack of creativity. Needs to improve lower body flexibility, as he tends to keep his legs too tight and can't explode around players with speed. Lawson's tackling production has been par at best, and needs to learn the ropes from an experienced player. Jason Pierre-Paul could be the guy to teach him, if the Giants decide to take a chance on the former Tiger. 

NFL ComparisonSam Acho

 

BOTTOM LINE:

 

With linebacker a need for the Giants, Lawson could offer some decent upside to a strained linebacker corps. It's possible he could be drafted in the second-round, and would fit nicely besides Landon Collins and Johnathan Casillas. Overall, he's an injury risk, but his ceiling is high. 

 


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