2016 NFL Draft – Shaq Lawson Scouting Report

Kevin Zielaznicki with a scouting report on Clemson’s Shaq Lawson

Kevin Zielaznicki continues our 2016 NFL Draft scouting report series

  • Name: Shaq Lawson   
  • School: Clemson   
  • Position: EDGE   
  • Height: 6’3″   
  • Weight: 269 
  • Career Stats: 123 Tackles, 45.5 TFL, 20.0 Sacks

Combine Results

  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.70 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.21 seconds
  • 3 Cone Drill: 7.16 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 33.0 inches
  • Broad Jump: 120.0 inches

Strengths: Versatility is one of Lawson’s biggest strengths. Good size for a 4-3 DE or 3-4 EDGE player in the NFL. Experience all over the defensive front as he played standing up and with his hand in the dirt. One of the best edge setters in college last year. Long arms and a top-notch upper body strength give him a powerful first punch at the point of attack. Has violent hands that allow him to consistently shed blocks. Is relentless rushing the passer and has a variety of pass rushing moves and knows how to counter if his first move fails. Best two moves are his bull rush and his dangerous spin move that made one of the top LT prospects (Ronnie Stanley) look silly. Seems to have a natural feel for the game as he rarely hesitates. Excellent motor and knows how to convert speed to power while rushing. Played some of his best games against top teams like Notre Dame and Alabama. Showed the entire country his toughness in the National Title game against Alabama as he played with an MCL injury.

Weaknesses: The biggest knock on Lawson is that he is not the best athlete for an EDGE player. Doesn’t have a great first step and he struggles to change direction. Balance can also be an issue at times. Lower body flexibility is something he needs to address to prepare for competition at the next level.  Has a tendency to take his intensity down a notch if the ball is going to the opposite of the field.

Projection: Top 15. One of the few EDGE players in the past few years that are better against the run compared to rushing the passer, Lawson’s ability to set the edge and disrupt an opponent’s running game will push him into being a Top 15 selection.