Name: Dexter Lawrence
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Clemson University
Weight: 340 pounds
Projected Round: First or Second
Data Courtesy of CFB at Sports-Reference.com
Defensive coordinators should be licking their chops thinking about having Dexter Lawrence on their defensive line. This man is 340 pounds plus, but moves with amazing quickness. He’s as sure of a tackler as they come, this mountain of a man will make an immediate impact.
Size and Strength
In the play below, Lawrence takes on two blockers and still manages to fight his way to the running back. This is against an SEC powerhouse too, not just your run of the mill college team. Lawrence’s size and strength should result in being an immediate difference maker in the NFL.
Later on, in the same game, Lawrence displays his full potential all in a single play. Watch as he drives the offensive lineman 7 yards back before recording a sack on Auburn’s quarterback. While offensive lineman in the NFL won’t be as easy to move, this is still impressive and shouldn’t go unnoticed.
One thing the Eagles have also had in their defensive lineman is above average play recognition skills. This is another reason that Lawrence makes sense for the Eagles. On this play, he doesn’t make the tackle, but since he is always keeping his eyes on the quarterback, he realizes a screen is coming. Lawrence is then able to shed his blocker and pursue the play.
Knowing what’s happening is one of the most important parts of being a defensive lineman. You’re not going to be able to get to the quarterback every snap. On this play, Lawrence understands he’s not getting to the quarterback, so he keeps his eyes on him and just misses batting down the ball.
How Lawrence Fits with Philly
As we talked about earlier, Philadelphia has always had above average play recognition on their defensive line. Dexter Lawrence would fit right into that category. As Clemson was making its rise in the national ranks a couple years ago, Lawrence was at the forefront of that, providing them with 6.5 sacks as a freshman on his way to winning 2016 ACC defensive rookie of the year. While his number decreased by year, his presence didn’t. Clemson just got more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Pairing Dexter Lawrence with Fletcher Cox is a matchup nightmare for any offensive line. If the Eagles decide to go this route, watch out. It’s a scary thought thinking Fletcher Cox could be even better than he already is.