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Shaq Lawson Scouting Report, DE, Clemson. 2016 NFL Draft

Looking at one of the most promising defensive lineman in college football.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


Hometown: Central, South Carolina
High School: Central (SC) Daniel
Recruitment: 4-Star Recruit by ESPN, 4-Star recruit by Rivals
Injuries/Discipline: Nothing Major


2015 College All-American


Height: 6'3"
Weight: 270
Class: Junior
Projected 40 Time: 4.63


2015: 55 tackles, 22.5 for a loss, 10.5 sacks
2014: 34 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, 3.4 sacks
2013: 30 tackles, 9.5 for a loss, 4 sacks


• Great Size
• Excellent Quickness
• Plays with a good base.
• Plays both the run and pass well.
• Has an array of pass rushing moves.
• Just starting to reach his potential.
• Has a nose for the ball.
• Good motor
• Really strong hands to control the line
• Excellent upper body strength
• Very agile
• Changes direction easily
• Very disciplined
• Good production, even as a backup in 2013 & 2014.


• Needs some polish all around
• Needs more consistency with his initial surge
• Only one year starting experience.


I personally don't see a great deal not to like about Lawson, and there is a reason why he's considered a top 15 selection in 2016. He has everything you would want in an edge guy and he slots in perfectly as a 4-3 defensive end.

He has the motor, hands and strength to play the run, and he has the rushing ability with spin, rip and swim moves against the pass. When evaluating Lawson, I was surprised with his agility and quickness for such a big man, he changes direction with ease and his pursuit is fantastic. At times he actually reminded me of Sheldon Richardson.
2015 was the first year of starting experience for Lawson, after playing behind All-American Vic Beasley. He had to spend a year at the Hargrave Military Academy before arriving at Clemson, and had to be patient once he arrives, however he is one of just two players in Clemson history to have at least 10 of more tackles for a loss as a freshman and a sophomore.

Between 2014 and 2015, Lawson dropped from 276 to 270 and worked on getting off the line quicker, he's done that and if he can be more consistent in that area, he could be an immediate contributor at the next level. He's a special talent and he has the work ethic to get better.

Draft Grade: 92

90-100 = Exceptional Talent
80-90 = Impact Player
70-80 = NFL Starter
60-70 = Solid NFL Potential
50-60 = Draftable - Lot of work needed
>50 = Undraftable, - Long Shot To Stick