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Shaq Lawson Selected 19th Overall in 2016 NFL Draft

NFL: Shaq Lawson

With the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills have selected Shaq Lawson, Defensive End from Clemson University.

Lawson projects as a 4-3 Defensive End or 3-4 Outside Linebacker. Strong and relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback, the former Tiger registered 13 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and 25 hurries in 2015 en-route to a National Championship berth, albeit alongside a slew of great defenders up front.

Strength alone did not bring Lawson his notoriety. He is known to have success using his hands to fight through and around Offensive Lineman, and has a great spin move that proves effective in getting to the quarterback.  Against the run, Lawson is superior at taking on blocks and maintaining leverage to squeeze running lanes. He’s a great finisher, too, having no trouble wrapping up ball carriers and bringing them to the ground. Lawson has also fared well covering backs releasing into routes. Pro Football Focus compares his skill set to that of James Harrison, the versatile edge defender who has wreaked havoc against his opponents for years.

Named runner-up for ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015, Lawson also possesses excellent football acumen. Bills fans have reason to be excited.

As with most prospects, though, there are certain aspects of Lawson’s game that need to be addressed. An improvement in his first step and overall explosiveness off the edge will help at the next level. In other words, Lawson will benefit from hitting the weight room hard as a young player. It’s important to understand that at 6-foot 3, 269 pounds, the junior Defensive End will not tower over his counterparts across the line of scrimmage, and thus will need to be more gain every advantage possible in his attack.

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