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Lawrence Sidbury Jr. Profile

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Today let's discuss LSJ.


I believe he is a prototypical 4-3 DE and not the 3-4 OLB hybrid that some analysts have casted him as. His long arms and athletic ability more than make up for the half inch or so in height he may lack.

Rated as the 8th overall DE prospect in 2009 with a second round grade, he was largely thought of as a steal in the 4th round.

Lawrence Sidbury Jr.

6' 2-3/8"


40 time - 4.53 secs

vertical - 35"

225 bench - 29 reps

wonderlic - 22/27

Strengths: Lightning fast in short space...uses his spin move well...very productive, especially as a senior...strong upper body for his size...natural athlete...natural pass rusher...uses his long arms well...good effort in pursuit...shows some ability to play in space, just unrefined...

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal lower body to anchor versus the run...is going to need to add bulk or make a position change...prefers to run around blocks rather than take them on...may lack a true position...

Overall: Lawrence Sidbury had an outstanding senior season at Richmond ending in a national championship in the FBS. Sidbury is a bit of a tweener, but excels at getting in the backfield and creating havoc. He was one of the top performers at the 2009 Scouting Combine, but will face the always daunting proposition of moving to a 3-4 OLB spot to succeed long term due to his lack of lower body strength. He struggles to anchor versus the run, but it is hard to ignore his athleticism and pass rushing ability.

Strengths: One of the better athletes at the DE position this year... Elite measurables with great bulk, long arms and excellent speed... Hustler that pursues well... Versatile, having played in several different capacities at Richmond, including on special teams... Solid college production including an outstanding senior season (20 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks)... Immense potential.

Weaknesses: Short by NFL standards... Is not as aggressive as he should be and can be hesitant at times... Not polished as a pass rusher and lacks moves... Played at a low level of competition and will need time to adjust to the pro game... Needs to get stronger... Needs a lot of polish from a technique standpoint, particularly in terms of getting off of blocks and playing with proper leverage... Bit of a project.

NFL Comparison: Trent Cole, Philadelphia Eagles

Both players are similar is stature; Sidbury is 6'2", 266, while Cole is 6'3", 270 (though at the time of the draft, he weighed only 240). Both men are quick for their size with Sidbury clocking in at 4.64 in the 40 and 2.63 in the twenty yard split; his 20-yard shuttle time was a 4.43. Cole, when he came out five years ago, was clocked at 4.7 in the 40 and a 4.22 in the 20-yard shuttle. Production-wise, Cole had 68 tackles, including 22 for a loss and 8.5 sacks in his senior season at Cincinnati. Sidbury had 56 tackles, including 20 for a loss and 11.5 sacks, last year in Richmond.

Cole, in his first season of NFL ball, had five sacks and 26 tackles. Yes - the five sacks would have led Bills ends last year. Both players are/were being touted as too small to play the position of DE in a 4-3 and might be better looked at as OLB prospects, but that is not strictly true. A good pass rusher is a good pass rusher, and as Lawrence would be a situational rusher for his first season with us, that makes the point moot.

DE Lawrence Sidbury played 25 percent of the defensive snaps last season for the Falcons. With the team not making a major move at the defensive end position, Sidbury is hoping to get more playing time in his second season. Sidbury, before being selected in the fourth round of the draft last year, terrorized Division I-AA offensive tackles during his career at Richmond. He rang up 20.5 sacks, including 11.5 in his senior season, as he helped the Spiders win the national championship. "We really anticipate that Lawrence will take a big step here this season in year two," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Jamaal (Anderson) will probably spend more time playing defensive tackle in our sub package and play defensive end in our base package." Sidbury and Kroy Biermann, who is in his third season, will get a chance to rush the passer opposite stalwart defensive end John Abraham. Sidbury has worked hard this offseason to claim the pass-rushing spot in the Falcons' defensive-end rotation. "I just need to cut down on the mistakes," Sidbury said. "I feel like I'm picking up on things a lot better this year. I'm making (fewer) mistakes." Sidbury finished with one sack, he recovered a fumble and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo. "That's one of the bigger highlights of my career as a whole," Sidbury said of his touchdown. "I've never scored a touchdown on defense. There's a part about where coach (defensive coordinator Brian) VanGorder and coach Smith talk about being hungry, being intense and playing with energy. We want more plays like that this year." Sidbury found that the moves he used at Richmond need to be polished if he expected to beat some NFL tackles. "Even if you work a move once, you might have to work it three times to get past them," Sidbury said. "I just have to continue to get those things down. I just want to learn and get better. That's going to help me out." Sidbury knows that playing time is available. - the Sports Exchange.

By Les Carpenter

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RICHMOND -- It wasn't long before the new math tutor at John Marshall High School started attracting attention. And not because he was bigger than the teachers or that he carried around a gallon of water or that on occasion, when things got slow, he dropped to his stomach and began doing push-ups.

Neither did Lawrence Sidbury Jr. let anyone know he was a football player at the University of Richmond and that it was likely he would play in the NFL. It would take some time for those facts to emerge. He never was much of one for talking about himself.

Instead, math teacher Priscilla Wright remembered something else entirely.

"He was really smart," she said. "Really, really smart."

Not a lot was expected of the defensive end from Cheltenham, who was hired two years ago to assist teachers in some of the more challenging classes and to provide individual support to students needing to pass the state's annual Standards of Learning exam. He was a college student, after all, going into some of the city's toughest classrooms. But something amazing happened: It turned out the giant man who did push-ups had a gift for making students listen. His explanations made sense. Their grades improved.

"As a teacher you try to find a way to reach all the kids," Wright said. "He comes in and says, 'You need to do this, this and this,' and they are like, 'Oh, okay,' and they get it. He just has a great rapport with the kids."

Ask Sidbury about his work with the school, and he smiles and mumbles something about how he never wants to be a teacher. He sits in a chain steakhouse on the west side of town, scouring a menu, mentally calculating the calories in the pile of bread put before him, making sure it will not violate the strict diet he has set for himself for football.

Sidbury is one of the biggest surprises in this weekend's NFL draft. Three months ago he might have been a sixth-round pick. Then came the Senior Bowl and a week of practice in which he dazzled NFL coaches and found himself predicted to go in the second round.

And yet, he does not speak with wonder. He has been disappointed before, as a senior at Oxon Hill, when few division I-A colleges showed interest in him, leaving him to Richmond in division I-AA.

"You can say I have had a chip on my shoulder," he said, scanning the menu.

"He's got a huge chip on his shoulder," Richmond Coach Mike London said.

But this is the most emotion Sidbury will show. Instead he talks pleasantly, but flatly, about the NFL and the fact he has become a highly sought-after prospect seemingly overnight. This was the lesson of his father Lawrence Sr., a religious man, who always told his son to be humble, to never despair about the lows or gloat over the highs.

Still it is hard not to notice Sidbury is suddenly attracting attention, whether in the Richmond schools or the NFL draft meetings. Some of it came last fall as he had 11 1/2 sacks for Richmond in its unexpected march to the division I-AA national championship. Then he had a brilliant week of practice at the Senior Bowl, dominating more accomplished players from elite colleges. But when he went to the NFL combine in February and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, not only the fastest time for a defensive end but also faster than all but three linebackers, the league's scouts and team executives took notice.

Sidbury's agent has kept him up to date on his prospects, scheduling interviews in places such as Philadelphia, Dallas, Baltimore, St. Louis and Tennessee. Most draft lists have him rated somewhere around 44th overall, which would put him in the first part of the second round, yet he pays little attention. Instead, he continues to live in Richmond, working out every day at the football team's weight room and spending his mornings at John Marshall.

Sidbury tutors kids in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Wright was impressed when she realized he didn't even need the teacher's book for assistance as he helped the students work their way through problems. He'd simply look at the numbers, think for a moment and then begin explaining the process for figuring out a solution. And he'd do it without a calculator.

"A lot of the kids would have dropped out or skipped math class every day," Wright said. "But the kids he tutors on an individual basis look forward to math class."

Usually Sidbury will spend half of the 90-minute class walking around the room as the teacher stands in front explaining the day's lesson. He stops at the desks of the children struggling to keep up, softly explaining the concepts of each problem. After about 45 minutes, he will pull out the students who still don't grasp the material for extra instruction off to the side or in another room.

"He definitely relates to the 15- to 19-year-old range," Wright said of Sidbury, who is 23. "He makes it interesting for them."

But what might have impressed Wright the most was the success he had with those students who were most at risk of not passing the Standards of Learning test, usually a necessary exam for moving on to the next grade. Every student he had been assigned passed the test, she said. This didn't even happen for some of the licensed math teachers, she added.

"He should be on one of those NFL commercials where they have players reading books to the kids," she said.

She laughed for a moment, realizing Sidbury would probably hate such a thing.

"Did he tell you about the computer program he wrote?" she asked.

Sidbury, who has a computer science degree from Richmond, designed a program last year that would assess data from a football season and predict what plays a team will call and when. He rolls his eyes when asked about the program, saying it didn't work, that he didn't have a big enough pool of plays from which to draw. But given the way everyone else in the football office talks about the program and raves about its potential, it's hard to tell if the play predictor really didn't work or if he was just trying to deflect attention.

When Mike DeGeorge, the football sports information director, arrived at Richmond in the spring of 2007, he was stunned when the technician from the IT department who came to work on his computer looked a lot like a football player.

"Oh, that's Lawrence Sidbury our defensive end," someone said.

"Our defensive end is the IT?" DeGeorge remembered asking in amazement.

Though much like with teaching, Sidbury isn't sure he wants to be a computer programmer, either. He went to Richmond hoping to take engineering classes, but Richmond didn't offer an engineering degree. Maybe someday he will go back and get one. For now, though, he is focused on football.

Even with his high draft status there are questions about his abilities. At 6 feet 2, 266 pounds he is considered small for an NFL defensive end, and Williamson said he is not perceived to be overly strong and probably can play only in pass-rushing situations. "An NFL double-team will crumble him," Williamson said.

But good pass rushers are in demand in professional football. In a few days, the NFL will certainly call.

And John Marshall High School will lose its favorite math tutor.

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I think Sidbury is still under the radar while Bierman gets all the 'he could be a sleeper' attention.

We all saw glimpses of what Sidbury can do. He's had an off-season to get bigger and stronger. He will get even more playing time this season. He may be undersized but he's all motor. He fits in well with Atlanta's rotational line play.

It'e evident from the Falcons' standpoint they think highly of the kid. The national media makes a big deal out of the fact we didn't sign a big name to play DE this season but in our mind we have the guy(s ) we need.

The growth between year one and two in the NFL usually covers the biggest gap. I see Sidbury being a big part in our future.

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