With that as a backdrop, Packer Report is running a series of profiles on this year's outside linebacker candidates. We continue with ...
College: Boise State
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2 7/8, 251 pounds
Agility tests: 4.80 in the 40-yard dash…1.68 10-yard dash…2.80 20-yard dash…4.31 20-yard shuttle…7.46 three-cone drill…34 1/2-inch vertical jump…9'-5" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times…33 3/4-inch arm length…11-inch hands…81-inch wingspan.
Injury report: No major injuries reported. However, he was suspended vs. Nevada-Las Vegas in October 2012 and later for the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl vs. Washington for violation of team rules. In 2013, he was suspended vs. Tennessee-Martin for disciplinary issues.
Number to note: Lawrence's 20.5 tackles for losses in 2013 broke the league record of 20 that was shared by Miles Burris of San Diego State (2010), Jan Jorgensen of Brigham Young (2007) and John Frank of Utah (1999).
Demarcus Lawrence quite often was a man among boys during his two seasons at Boise State.
The question is, is he ready to act like a man?
Lawrence was slapped with three separate one-game suspensions during his stay at Boise. It's not as if he has a criminal record, but it's the one giant wart on an incredibly impressive career.
The native of Aiken, S.C., spent two season at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., to get his grades in order. After redshirting in 2010, he earned All-American honors in 2011. Lawrence enrolled at Boise State and had quite a debut in 2012. Despite missing two games due to suspensions — including the bowl game — he led the team conference with 9.5 sacks and added 13.5 tackles for losses.
As an encore in 2013, Lawrence piled up Mountain West-leading figures of 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses, with the latter figure setting the MWC record.
Still, three suspensions in two seasons serve as a distracting red flag. Two stemmed from being late for team meetings and the other for fighting with a teammate, according to longtime scout Dave-Te' Thomas.
"I think I've matured," Lawrence said at the Scouting Combine. "Right now I feel that really I've grown up a lot on and off the field. It's really not a problem. I feel like I became a better man, not just for myself but for others. I feel like I look out for other people."
One group of people who Lawrence has shown no regard for are opposing quarterbacks. At one point last season, he had a sack in six consecutive games.
"If you punish the quarterback, you change the game," Lawrence said.
With three forced fumbles last season and four in 2012, he tallied an impressive seven of those game-changing plays in two seasons.
"Not really. Just getting after the ball," Lawrence said when asked if he had a knack for punching out the ball."
Thomas, the NFL's longtime head scout and the author of the league's NFL Draft Report, called Lawrence "a high-energy player in the mold of former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro James Harrison, as both play with reckless abandon."
With Lawrence's combination of athleticism and length (33 3/4-inch arms), he's seen as a good fit as either a 3-4 outside linebacker or the "leo" spot in a 4-3, which is a combination defensive end/outside linebacker position predicated on the player's speed.
"I hope teams, when they see me on the field, take away how versatile I am," Lawrence said. "Whatever they want me to do, I can do it, either play linebacker or D end."
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