Shaq Lawson

DE/Edge #90
Junior 6’3” 275

Lawson’s run stopping ability will translate nicely to the next level, but he will need to continue developing his pass rushing moves.

– Exceptional run defender
– Disciplined with contain responsibilities/setting the edge
– Maintains gap responsibly vs run game
– Uses leverage well
– Active hands
– Good hand placement – attacks half of the man
– Effective counter moves – speed to inside spin, speed to inside club
– Defeats TEs as he should
– Slow off the ball – seems to always be the last player off the line
– Lacks burst to turn the corner
– Not a edge/speed rusher – gets run past QB
– Doesn’t have a go to move or many initial pass rush moves
– Tends to get too far up field on runs to him vs TE
– Not much success when bumped in to 3-tech, 4i, or 5-tech
– Conditioning/effort/effectiveness late in games – not saying it is effort or conditioning but could be a possibility, could be OT adjusting
– Struggles to defeat cut blocks
– Not fluid in space (change of direction and tight hips)

o ND (11:08Q1- 3 point stance) – speed to spin inside, beat LT but guard helped
o ND (5:14Q2- 3 point stance) – speed to spin inside, beat LT and guard was late, holding penalty
o ND (6:00Q3- 2 point stance) – 1-on1 with TE and beat him with an inside move
o Miami (8:46Q1- 3 point stance) – speed to spin inside, beat LT but ball came out
o NC St (3:57Q3 – 3 point stance) – speed to inside spin, RB help keep from being a sack
o UNC (10:21Q1 – 2 point stance) – guard trap off play action, dip and rip through
o UNC (2:10Q2 – 3 point stance) – dip and rip through
o UNC (1:52Q3- 3 point stance) – speed up field to undercut LT
o Florida St (2:05Q3 – 3 point stance) – aligned in 4i and came unblocked
o Miami (9:28Q1- 3 point stance) – RG pulled to trap and couldn’t get there in time
o Miami (14:18Q2- 3 point stance) – speed up field to undercut LT and guard missed help block
o NC St (12:50Q3 – 3 point stance) – hand slap made LT stumble forward and went past him
o UNC (0:14Q1 – 3 point stance) – used 2 RBs to try to block and was able to overpower both
o UNC (6:47Q4 – 3 point stance) – hand slap, dip and rip (FF)

Shaq Lawson was a Consensus All-American in his first season as a starter and led the nation in tackles for loss. Despite those achievements and the hype surrounding him, Lawson still has a lot of things that scare me with regards to his transition to the NFL. But let’s start with the good. Lawson is an exceptional run defender, as evidence by his TFL numbers. He’s keeps contain and does a very nice job setting the edge. He also uses leverage to hold his ground well. Lawson’s hands are active and he uses good hand placement by attacking half the man. He’s also shown the ability to use a counter moves which is one of the most important things for a pass rusher.
One of the first things that jumped out to me was that Lawson does not look like an edge player, he’s a 4-3 DE. He doesn’t seem fluid in space and doesn’t have burst to turn the corner. Most of his snaps came from 7 or 9 techniques, and he was ineffective as a rusher when he bumped into the 3, 4i, or 5 tech. He also seemed to fade towards the end of the game, which could be conditioning, score of the game, or that he just runs out of moves. Lawson is consistently late coming off the ball. He doesn’t have a speed rush. When he attempts it he gets run past the QB. He doesn’t appear to have a go to move or really any 1st moves. The only first move I saw was a hand slap dip and rip. That should be utilized as a rusher but NFL tackles are going to flash their hands much better than college players, so it most likely won’t be a move he finds regular success with. His only effective move is speed with a counter spin back inside or the speed with a club back inside. Spin moves, like hand slapping, can be part of an effective pass rush, but are not primary moves in the NFL. It’s also very difficult to consistently win with inside moves. You lose contain and it moves the pocket which knocks the others off their rush point.

Where he wins: Exceptional run defender, counters with inside spin or inside club

Round Value:

Games watched: Notre Dame 2015, Florida St 2015, North Carolina 2015, Miami 2015, NC St 2015

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