Cole World

2018 First Look Scouting Dexter Lawrence: Raw Clemson DT has big potential

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I like Linval Joseph comparison, but out of the mid to late first round DTs I like Auburn DT Derrick Brown better.

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By Daniel Jeremiah

  • NFL Media analyst
  • Published: June 21, 2018 at 03:07 p.m.
  • Updated: July 5, 2018 at 12:10 p.m.

Clemson has become a perennial playoff team over the last five years, and while many folks point to the play of their skill-position guys, I believe their defensive line deserves a fair share of credit. The Tigers have produced numerous high draft picks from their defensive front, and this year's group is the deepest they've ever had. The most physically impressive member of their D-line is junior DT Dexter Lawrence. I recently studied three of his games and here is my First Look report:

Dexter Lawrence, junior defensive tackle, Clemson

 

Height, weight: 6-foot-4, 340 pounds (school measurements).

2017 statistics: 39 tackles, 3 for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble.

Game tape watched: Louisville (Sept. 16, 2017), Virginia Tech (Sept. 30, 2017), Miami (Dec 2, 2017).

What I liked: Lawrence has outstanding size and power. Against the run, he is tough to move off the line of scrimmage and flashes surprising quickness once he gets off blocks. He has very good awareness/recognition.

As a pass rusher, he's still a work in progress, but he generates excellent pocket push because of his raw power. Every now and then, he'll flash a quick hand move to generate pressure. He also has a good feel/timing against the quick game and uses his length to bat down passes.

Where he needs to improve: His biggest issue is his pad level. He's a tall defensive lineman and he plays too high at times, which exposes his chest and allows inferior players to block him. As mentioned above, he's raw in the passing game and needs to come up with a better plan.

Biggest takeaway: I'd like to see Lawrence be a little more consistent and dominant, but I'm in love with his potential. I believe he would really benefit from losing 10 to 15 pounds, which would increase his range against the run and his get-off as a pass rusher. He has only scratched the surface of what he could ultimately become in the near future.

He reminds me of: Linval Joseph. The Vikings hit a home run when they signed Joseph in free agency back in March of 2014. He has enormous size and he's immovable at the point of attack. He also is surprisingly nimble and disruptive against the pass. I see some similarities in Lawrence's game tape at Clemson. There is one big difference -- Joseph was grossly underrated coming out of college and even early in his NFL career. I don't think we'll see the same mistake whenever Lawrence decides to move on to the league.

 

 

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Here is for those who liked Dontari Poe for the mere fact he provided size to our line.

Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, 6’4, 340 lbs

You may see Lawrence’s size and think he’s an old school, lumbering DL but he is a big man that can move decently well. And of course he is powerful, manhandling any OL in his way.

 

While he is primarily played at 1T, he can also play 3T and maybe even 5T for a spell. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has already put Lawrence in the top 15 of his 2019 mock draft.  Lawrence can take over games and could very well see himself in that top 15 conversation in April.

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Jeremiahs best comment was him losing 10-15 pounds that would put him in that 320-330 area and increase his range.Athletic defensive tackles are the name of the game in the modern NFL.

 

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Older article

https://www.stack.com/a/why-nfl-scouts-believe-clemson-dt-dexter-lawrence-is-a-lock-to-be-the-no-1-overall-pick-in-the-2019-nfl-draft

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Why NFL Scouts Believe Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence Is a Lock to be the No. 1 Overall Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft

While the football world waits to see what the Cleveland Browns will do with the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, certain experts believe they already know who's going to be the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

In a recent article for Fox Sports, reporter Bruce Feldman revealed that Dexter Lawrence—a rising sophomore defensive tackle at Clemson—is already penciled in by certain scouts as the top pick two years from now. From Feldman:

Prediction from an NFL coach in Indy over the weekend: "Mark it down now: The No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 draft is gonna be [Clemson's 6-foot-5, 340-pound defensive tackle] Dexter Lawrence. There is nothing like him in this draft in terms of size and quickness. He's ridiculous."

For a coach to make a prediction like that, Lawrence must be a special athlete. He is, and then some. As a true freshman last season, Lawrence had 79 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. That's insane production from a defensive tackle. Lawrence was a Freshman All-American selection, a second-team All-ACC selection and the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

But plenty of players have been able to produce at the college level from an early age. What really sets Lawrence apart is his frame and his athleticism.

At just 18 percent body fat, he's about as lean as a 340-pound man can be. According to former Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware, Lawrence can run a 4.8 in the 40-Yard Dash. In his very first scrimmage at Clemson, he intercepted a screen pass. After Clemson's dismantling of Ohio State during the Fiesta Bowl, All-American OSU center Pat Elflein approached Lawrence just to let him know he's "a monster."

Former Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins told 247Sports that he's never seen a human being like Lawrence. "He's taught me that there are human beings like that out here," Watkins said. "Honestly, I've never seen anybody like that before. He can dunk a basketball with two hands and **** it back."

 

If Lawrence (who is currently 19 years old) continues to develop, there's really no telling how high his ceiling goes.

 

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On 11/2/2018 at 0:03 PM, Cole World said:

Here is for those who liked Dontari Poe for the mere fact he provided size to our line.

Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, 6’4, 340 lbs

You may see Lawrence’s size and think he’s an old school, lumbering DL but he is a big man that can move decently well. And of course he is powerful, manhandling any OL in his way.

 

 

He came close or surpassed those numbers at the combine. If he’s there at pick 45 I would strongly consider him. The thing is Quinn would probably require him to lose 10-15 pounds before the season like he did Dontari Poe.

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Basically with Dexter you just have to have a value of where you think his talent is worth drafting and where that job he will do will also fit into where you want to draft it.

For me what he’ll do here is basically 2 down run stop for me that’s starts at the our 3rd pick.

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If the Falcons want Dexter Lawrence and wait until the third round, he won’t be there. I also disagree and feel that Lawrence is a 3 down player. His strength and athleticism allows him to collaspe the pocket on passing downs which I feel is just as valuable defensively as an edge rusher from the outside. 

The combination of pocket collaspe from the inside and pressure coming from the outside  will give an offense fits, especially if a 4/3 defense can accomplish this with their front four. 

I’d really like TJ Hockenson in the first and either Dexter Lawrence in the second or Daylon Mack in the third.

Another DT I like that would be considered a two down run stopper is DT Greg Gaines from Washington. I believe we could draft Greg in the 6th or 7th round. 

Imagine short yardage or goal line defense with Gaines and Lawrence as DTs. Where’s the Beef !!  

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On 3/20/2019 at 2:44 AM, William Spires said:

If the Falcons want Dexter Lawrence and wait until the third round, he won’t be there. I also disagree and feel that Lawrence is a 3 down player. His strength and athleticism allows him to collaspe the pocket on passing downs which I feel is just as valuable defensively as an edge rusher from the outside. 

The combination of pocket collaspe from the inside and pressure coming from the outside  will give an offense fits, especially if a 4/3 defense can accomplish this with their front four. 

I’d really like TJ Hockenson in the first and either Dexter Lawrence in the second or Daylon Mack in the third.

Another DT I like that would be considered a two down run stopper is DT Greg Gaines from Washington. I believe we could draft Greg in the 6th or 7th round. 

Imagine short yardage or goal line defense with Gaines and Lawrence as DTs. Where’s the Beef !!  

On top of Senat aswell.

Its interesting times ahead for sure.

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On 11/2/2018 at 3:52 PM, kiwifalcon said:

Jeremiahs best comment was him losing 10-15 pounds that would put him in that 320-330 area and increase his range.Athletic defensive tackles are the name of the game in the modern NFL.

 

Exactly. After training camp, some pro nutrition and fitness support you can envision a 6’4” 330 pound wrecking ball. He’s already disruptive and quick at 340. I can’t fathom how good he may end up if he’s committed

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On 3/24/2019 at 3:39 PM, Knight of God said:

This man is very likely to be a Falcon. Very likely we take him at 14.

KOG how do you feel about Lawrence?

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I'll be happy with Lawrence at 14, granted all the other top DLineman are gone ( Allen, Bosa, Oliver, Williams.)

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6 hours ago, The Rock said:

I'll be happy with Lawrence at 14, granted all the other top DLineman are gone ( Allen, Bosa, Oliver, Williams.)

I believe Lawrence will be a good Pro and he has a skill that the Falcons very much need in clogging up the middle and flattening the opposition’s running game.  So he will be a good Falcon.

Now, will he be on the field 50% of the time in pass rush?  To me, that is the question that must be answered in the affirmative to justify pulling his tag at #14.  

To me, it’s not even a question of if he can push the pocket - as he likely can-  to me, the question is

“Does Dexter Lawrence bring enough in passrush game to be on the field at least 50%+ of the time in a rotation and would he be used that way on NFL level?”

 

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48 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

I believe Lawrence will be a good Pro and he has a skill that the Falcons very much need in clogging up the middle and flattening the opposition’s running game.  So he will be a good Falcon.

Now, will he be on the field 50% of the time in pass rush?  To me, that is the question that must be answered in the affirmative to justify pulling his tag at #14.  

To me, it’s not even a question of if he can push the pocket - as he likely can-  to me, the question is

“Does Dexter Lawrence bring enough in passrush game to be on the field at least 50%+ of the time in a rotation and would he be used that way on NFL level?”

 

Very nicely put. Does he offer more in nickel than GJ and Crawford? I'm not so sure he does (particularly as a rookie).

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50 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

Very nicely put. Does he offer more in nickel than GJ and Crawford? I'm not so sure he does (particularly as a rookie).

That’s my issue.  I believe the guys most in favor of him at #14 just paper over the question and say “he’s good enough there”.

Like I said, if we get him, he will likely be a good Falcon and he may help the defense get to “3rd and long” but not sure once we get there that Dexter will then be on the field.

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2 hours ago, g-dawg said:

That’s my issue.  I believe the guys most in favor of him at #14 just paper over the question and say “he’s good enough there”.

Like I said, if we get him, he will likely be a good Falcon and he may help the defense get to “3rd and long” but not sure once we get there that Dexter will then be on the field.

I been asking myself this for months and came to the conclusion that if he can get other people off like a Crawford Jarrett Takk VB44 by being a foil for these guys off of stunts & eating doubles,how do you value that.

Is this a reason enough for you to pull his card at 14.I don’t know but we will find out.

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10 hours ago, Smiler11 said:

Very nicely put. Does he offer more in nickel than GJ and Crawford? I'm not so sure he does (particularly as a rookie).

That was well put. But I do t see him there for us in third and long.  U less we anticipate a draw, etc

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Posted (edited)

Small piece from the article.

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Upside: Freakish upper-body strength – performed 36 bench-press reps with nearly 35-inch arms, an almost unheard-of ratio. Sheer mass to dominate in the run game, stack up smaller interior offensive linemen and hold his ground completely. Prone to double teams but nearly impossible to move – gets rooted to a spot, leans in and swallows gaps. Scheme wrecker who will dominate some blockers off the snap.

Has the natural stacking ability to be a two-gap defender but isn’t scheme specific. Can play on the interior in any type of front. Occasionally kicked outside in specific fronts and was able to harness his momentum to be an effective edge setter the way Vince Wilfork or Haloti Ngata did in the NFL.

Unusual combination of mass, power and movement skills for such a large man. Heavy but not fat – nicely developed mass on his frame without too much additional heft. Still managed to run an impressive 5.05-second 40 (with a 1.76-second 10-yard split) despite pulling up lame at the end. Surprisingly quick and smooth when asked to move laterally. Has a natural feel for the game and uses his frame well. Doesn’t try to be a finesse rusher but actually possesses some pass-rush upside. Has mastered the power rush pretty well, but also has shown long-arm, hump and bull rushes inside and mixes things up fairly well.

Seemed to play his best in the bigger games, especially in title run his freshman season. Appears unafraid to take on a lunch-pail role and doesn’t freelance. Was healthier and more quick in 2018 than in 2017 and showed better stamina prior to combine injury. Has some special-teams value – blocked three kicks in his career. In addition to a 2-yard TD run, Lawrence also lined up as a bulldozing fullback and could save a team a roster spot with this role for a handful of snaps per game.

Downside: Lawrence was viewed as a can’t-miss prospect following a brilliant freshman season, matching his immeasurable high-school hype, but his freshman tape was his best of his three seasons. Didn’t dominate as much as you would have expected the past two seasons and was not the same level of playmaker he was in 2016. Played on extremely talented line with four future NFL players, including two other likely first-rounders (DT Christian Wilkins, DE Clelin Ferrell), and didn’t win enough single-blocking assignments.

Had some sub-par outings against two fine center prospects in the 2019 draft class, North Carolina State’s Garrett Bradbury and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy, as well as a mid-round guard prospect, Phillip Haynes from Wake Forest. Lawrence didn’t always match blockers’ power the way you expected and struggled with linemen who used advanced hand technique.

Tape across the board is hot and cold – not yet a complete product. Interior pass rush value will be low entering the NFL. Doesn’t possess enough anything resembling a countermove – if he gets stopped initially, it’s usually a stalemate. Too reliant on his mass at times and doesn’t harness his entire power or leverage. Stamina could be a concern – averaged only 38.5 snaps per game in his three seasons and just under 36 snaps per game his final two.

Teams still are trying to gather information about his positive drug test and determine whether he truly loves football.

Best-suited destination Most NFL teams have someone on their roster who is asked to fill a role like the one Lawrence would be best-served to handle and that’s to clog the middle and muck up blocking schemes over the center or as a shaded nose. With the right refinement, a confident defensive coordinator could use Lawrence as a 5-technique to shut down a heavily one-direction run game.

But basically, it’s smart not to overthink Lawrence and what he is. There are few players his size to begin with, and that list shrinks considerably with the number of men that size who move as well as he does. Lawrence should fit most every scheme, but the teams that could value him most might include the Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens.

Fun fact: Basketball, not football, was Lawrence’s first love and it actually took quite a bit of convincing for him to switch focus on the sports at one point. He actually became a bit disenchanted with football and was spending more time playing AAU hoops as a 6-3, 280-pound power hoops standout early in his high-school career.

“I thought I was a natural baller,” Lawrence said, via the Charlotte Observer.

“If he would have kept up his basketball,” Parker said, “I really think he could have played in the NBA.”

They said it: “I feel like I call myself a once-in-a-decade type of player. I feel like just my rare abilities at that and then I feel like the way I try to master the game, the way I try to master my techniques, it's just different, a lot of guys. I work on my weaknesses every day. Just to improve on areas in my game that I know that can make me great. A lot of players are good, but I want to be great.”

— Lawrence, at the combine

Player comp: Linval Joseph

Expected draft range: Late first- or early-second-round pick

 

 

Edited by Cole World

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All the film I watch on him what sticks out is all the double teams 42 gets on every play lol.

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