Edge rushers Shaq Lawson, Shilique Calhoun among Seahawks' Combine interviews

Could another edge rusher be this year's "surprise" first round pick for the Seahawks?

Given the needs along the offensive line and at defensive tackle, it might surprise Seahawks fans that the club is dedicating significant time at the 2016 NFL Combine investigating edge rushers.

Defensive ends Shaq Lawson (Clemson) and Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State) are among the prospects Seattle dedicated a formal interview in Indianapolis, a source tells SeahawkFootball.com.

Lawson - who led the ACC with 12.5 sacks (including two against Alabama in the national title game) is almost universally considered a first round prospect. Calhoun is slightly lower rated in the eyes of the media but perhaps not among scouts given that he's a three-time All-American with 27 career sacks, which ranks second in the country behind only Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah

While the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos just reinforced yet again the value of pass rushers in today's NFL, the selection of another defensive end would be a surprise for some given that the Seahawks already boast Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril as starters and selected Frank Clark with their first pick a year ago.

The anticipated loss of third down pass rusher Bruce Irvin in free agency and worries of a possible holdout from Bennett could force the Seahawks to prioritize the position in the draft.

At 6-3, 269 pounds, Lawson is similarly built to Clark. He's quick, powerful and has a surprising array of pass rush moves considering that he didn't become a full time starter for the Tigers until this past season.

When asked at the Combine about his favorite pass rush move, Lawson responded with confidence.

 "Inside spin move, deadly, I love it. I love that move,'' Lawson said.

Lawson and Dodd both have experience playing defensive end and outside linebacker - something that the Seahawks would need if Irvin (and his primary backup Mike Morgan, also a free agent) indeed leave.

 "I can play both," Lawson said. "I played a lot standing up for Clemson this year and playing with hand in the dirt, so I can play both.''

At a longer and leaner 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, Calhoun is a closer comparison to Avril and Irvin. He, too, is just looking for a chance to get on the field.

When asked if he'd like to play some stand up edge rusher and drop into coverage, Calhoun said that he'd "Love the opportunity. I could play tailback if you needed me to play there. I'm not worried where they put me on the field, it's just getting me on the field."

The 2016 Combine concludes Monday.


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