Shaq Lawson 2016 NFL Draft Profile

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Position: Defensive End

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 269 pounds

School: Clemson University

Shaq Lawson 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Shaq Lawson played high school football at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina.The talented defensive end spent his first two seasons at Clemson as a reserve, because the Tigers had a plethora of talent along the defensive line. Even so, Lawson was still able to record double digit tackles for loss each season (10 in 2013 and 11 in 2014). In 2015, as a starter, Lawson helped lead the Clemson Tigers to an undefeated regular season, ACC conference title, and an appearance in the National Championship game. Lawson tallied 12.5 sacks and a college football best of 25.5 tackles for loss and also finished the season with 17 stuffs, which was second most among defensive linemen. For his efforts he was named a consensus All-American and first-team All-ACC.

Lawson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds (fourth best among defensive ends) and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.21 seconds at the NFL combine this year.


  • Powerful at the point of attack
  • Extremely effective against the run
  • Is agile
  • Has quick first step
  • Big time motor
  • Strong upper body and hands
  • Powerful legs
  • Ability to shed blockers
  • Good instincts
  • Good change of direction
  • Incredible spin move


  • Doesn’t have ideal height or length
  • Only one season as collegiate starter
  • Average flexibility
  • Needs to work on technique to have continued success in the NFL
  • Effective against the pass, but must improve his pass rush skills

NFL Comparison: Pernell McPhee, Sheldon Richardson (with no character issues).

Teams with Need at Position: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals.

Projection: First Round (10-20)

Shaq Lawson produced as a reserve his first two years at Clemson and had an All-American season in 2015, his first as a starter. His frame, size, power and instincts make Lawson NFL ready, but he does need to work on his technique, particularly against the pass if he wants to have the same success in the NFL that he had in college. The team that drafts him will have the ability to utilize him in multiple schemes (he can play in both a 3-4 or 4-3). The talented defensive end showed a lot of heart by playing really hard with a leg injury in the National Championship game against Alabama. Even though Lawson was limited at the Combine because of a hamstring injury, he showed he has more than enough talent to be really good at the next level, particularly if he works on his technique.

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