Our look at potential edge rushers continues with a look at All-SEC player Carl Lawson.
Carl Lawson, Auburn
6’2″ 253 pounds
What’s To Like: If ever a guy looked the part of an edge rusher it’s Lawson. He’s well-built and has a very strong upper body… Collected nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in his final year at Auburn… Very disciplined player who is almost methodical in going through responsibilities on each play… I really like his closing speed when the QB breaks the pocket. Forces the passer to get rid of the ball much quicker than he’d like… Aggressive tackler who uses his arms well to keep blockers off.
What’s Concerning: You have to start with injuries. Has had an ACL injury and a significant hip injury as well and those are things any team must take seriously… Rarely dropped into coverage which personally I like but that doesn’t fit what the Steelers expect from their outside linebackers… I don’t always like his lack of hustle. When plays go away I don’t see the type of ‘want’ you’d like to see from a guy… Does a decent job of setting the edge but doesn’t close fast enough for my liking.
The Verdict: Clearly the biggest issue I have with Lawson is his medical history. If we take that out of the equation he appears to me to be a guy that is a pure pass rusher which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because he does have pretty good hands and uses his strength well. As I mentioned above though, Keith Butler needs his OLBs to be more dynamic and be able to drop into coverage when necessary. The Steelers could do a lot worse than Lawson assuming he was the pick at 30 but I’m not over the moon on him as some are. I think there are some other guys who are more well-rounded.
Photo courtesy: AuburnTigers.com
Video courtesy: draftbreakdown.com