The Bengals have a pair of solid defensive ends with Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson, but Johnson has never been a great pass rusher. Could Shaq Lawson of Clemson be a potential target to rotate with Johnson, and provide depth with the loss of Wallace Gilberry, and the apparent lack of improvement from Margus Hunt? Lawson had a great junior year for the Clemson Tigers, helping them reach the championship game. Maybe he can help the Bengals reach a championship next, if he falls that far in the NFL Draft.
Weight: 269 lbs
40-Yard Dash: 4.70 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.21 seconds
Vertical Jump: 33.0"
Broad Jump: 120"
3-Cone Drill: 7.16 seconds
- Top rated high school player
- Only started one year at Clemson
Scouting Report Consensus - What to like:
- Had a very good game against potential first round pick Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame
- Tough player with strong hands who can set the edge against offensive linemen
- Finished second in the nation with 17 stuffs against offensive linemen
- Projects well as an outside run stopper in the NFL
- Good initial quickness and makes plays due to a high level of effort
Scouting Report Consensus - What to not like:
- Does not have the natural athleticism or flexibility to be a great pass rusher at the NFL level
- Lacks idea height or length to play on the edge
- Can take plays off when they are on the other side of the field
- Wears down as game progresses
Mid to late first round
Lawson was unable to win a starting spot until his junior season, which does raise the question of how well he will be able to perform at the NFL level if he struggled to get playing time at the college level, although, one of the players he was behind on the depth chart was former first round pick Vic Beasley. His size projects him as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker than a 4-3 defensive end, and his athleticism projects him as more an effective run stopper than great pass rusher. He should likely become a contributor and eventual NFL starter who would be best suited on a team running a 3-4 defense that already has an edge rusher.
From a Bengals’ fan perspective, Beasley may not be as high on their draft boards as he would fit in better on a team playing a 3-4 defense. This become even more apparent when you consider he is not as tall as the Bengals prefer for their defensive ends. If he falls to the Bengals, he would likely not be the pick, since he is unlikely to be the BPA in their minds.