Junior 6’2 200 lbs
- Reliable hands, a natural WR
- Quick feet, and change of direction. Can sell and manipulate DBs
- Gets separation when it counts and makes plays after the catch
- Willing and capable blocker in the run game
- Exceptional at extending for the catch. Positions himself between the ball and the defender
- Plays through traffic, demonstrates great focus
- Slight frame. May not be able to put more weight on.
- Not a burner, and not ideal size for a split end. Is he Z or an X?
- Bigger corners may be able to push him around
- Concerns about lapses in concentration. Inconsistency could be an issue
Stuck between between two hemispheres, Kenny Lawler makes for one of the more interesting WRs to break down in the 2016 draft class. He doesn’t possess the pedigree or profile to accompany the likes of Michael Thomas and Corey Coleman in the upper crust, yet when you put on the tape, it’s obvious he’s not than just another meddling mid-round prospect. Lawler is a true “eye of the beholder” draft pick. His playmaking ability is no aberration, yet neither are his measurables (or lack thereof). What’s not a mystery about Kenny is his ability to play the position regardless of the what you combine numbers might tell you.
In some ways, his story shares commonalities with his alma-mater; Keenan Allen. Both tested less than ideal by NFL standards, raising questions about their NFL transition. In Allen’s case, an ugly injury that refused to heal sunk his draft stock. With Kenny however, it’s about his frame and athleticism. Can he adjust to the speed of the game in the NFL? Can he contend with the larger, faster NFL corners? He’s not a route tactician like the former Golden Bear, nor does he possess the speed needed to function as a deep threat.
So what does he do well? In short, just about everything else. He has good hands, tracks the ball well, and can make difficult catches in traffic. He has quick feet, and loose hips, which Lawler uses to position himself between the defender when he needs to. He proved time and time again that Kenny knows how to get open in the redzone – extending for the catch away from the defender. QBs love WRs like Lawler because they don’t have to take as many chances. There’s some lapses in concentration at times and you’d like see more burst off the line, but his natural talent at the position should earn him a chance to be a reliable second option in the passing game — if given the opportunity to grow within a system.
NFL comparison: Jordan Matthews
Round Value: 3rd round