Dexter Lawrence II
Born: May 17th, 1997 (21 years old)
Weight: 340 Lbs
Position: Defensive Tackle
We talked about Ferrell, then Wilkins, and Bryant. Now its time to discuss the one with possibly the greatest potential out of the bunch. Dexter Lawrence was a man child in high school, and regarded by many to be the best prospect to ever come out of the state of North Carolina. Lawrence would finish his career as a 5 star recruit and a top 3 player in the nation by almost every major recruiting website. He garnered offers from Florida State, Alabama, and Florida, but ultimately chose the Tigers. In his first season he finished with 62 tackles, 8.5 for a loss, and 6.5 sacks in 14 games. This would win him the 2016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and also was a part of them winning their first national championship in 35 seasons. After his dominant freshman season, Lawrence would be double teamed from there on out, only producing 69 tackles, 9.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks in his final two seasons. Being the focal point of an offensive game plan like that says a lot when playing with names like Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, and Austin Bryant. NFL offensive coordinators will have a rough time having to figure out who to double team wherever Dexter Lawrence is drafted.
Strengths & Weaknesses
At 6’5, 340 Lbs, Lawrence has a huge frame, and strength to match it. His bull rush is extremely difficult to block one on one, and can even still out power double teams. He constantly calls for a double team from the offensive line or else he over power a single blocker. The key in today’s NFL is quarterback pressure provided by the defensive tackle, and that is something he does very well.
Dexter will have a lot of questions about what happened in the college football playoffs. NFL teams are going to dig deep at him to see why he would test positive for any PEDs, knowingly or not. Due to his gigantic frame, he has issues with staying low and maintaining good leverage. Sometimes you can see a double team get under him, creating a very tricky situation for a defensive lineman.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Comp
NFL Draft Projection
Lawrence has top 12 pick talent, but do believe the off the field questions will scare him into the late 1st round. I believe he still stays in the 1st round barely, being selected 31st overall by the Rams. This would not just allow Suh to walk, saving them a bunch of money in free agency, but would also give Aaron Donald an amazing protege to work with.
Even though he weighs in at 350 Lbs, Lawrence is by no means just a gap filler. He possesses a rare form of strength that even other 320 Lb men get man handled with. He is of similar size to Linval Joseph, and many NFL players are blown away by his strength as well. They both have the ability to out power double teams and still make a play in the backfield.