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2017 NFL Draft picks: Bengals select Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson in Round 4, pick 116

The Bengals have made back-to-back defensive end picks, a great strategy that was expected for Cincinnati.

NCAA Football: Idaho at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

With the 116th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson.

Lawson had 30 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in 2016 as a stud defensive end for the Tigers. He had the fourth most sacks in the SEC and eighth most tackles for loss in his final college season.

Lawson fell much further than expected and there are reports that it’s because of a knee injury.

A first-team All SEC selection in 2016, Lawson was alo a Freshman All-American but, injured his ACL in his sophomore season, causing him to take a medical redshirt. He was a two-year captain, but missed half of his redshirt sophomore season, too, due to injury. A strong player with great hands, Lawson is known for his ability to fight through blocks and go after offenses with an aggressive edge.

Lawson should be able to come in right away on defense and rotate with Michael Johnson, who had one of his worst seasons in the NFL in 2016.

Here’s an excerpt from his draft profile:

Linear player with natural power and aggressiveness, but a lack of flexibility could hamper his potential as an NFL rusher. Lawson's twitch shows up in short, controlled bursts, but he struggles to finish if the play isn't right in front of him. Lawson's ruffneck demeanor will appeal to teams looking for an aggressive edge-setter along a physical front, but his draft grade could vary quite a bit from team to team.

Lawson has flashed big potential in college and had four sacks as a true freshman. But, he has had issues with consistency, potentially due to his injuries. Lawson is better against the pass than the run, but, he will certainly have time to learn and grow with NFL coaching.

This pick comes right after the Bengals selected Jordan Willis out of Kansas State in Round 3. Many Bengals insiders believed the team would select two defensive ends before the end of Round 4 and that has become the reality.

Lawson is 6'2", which is shorter than the Bengals typically like in their defensive ends. He's also 261 pounds with a 31 1/2" arm length and 10 3/8" hands. At the Combine, he recorded a 4.67 second 40-yard dash, 35 reps on the bench press (highlighting his strength, 33" vertical jump, 114" inch broad jump, 7.46 second 3-cone dril land a 4.19 second 20-yard shuttle.


How do you grade the Bengals’ Round 4 pick of Carl Lawson?

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The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:

LB, C, OT, OG, K

Here’s a rundown of every pick the Bengals hold in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Bengals 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Round Pick #
Round Pick #
Round 1 Pick 9
Round 2 Pick 48
Round 3 Pick 73
Round 4 Pick 116
Round 4 Pick 128**
Round 4 Pick 138*
Round 5 Pick 153
Round 5 Pick 176*
Round 6 Pick 193
Round 6 Pick 207**
Round 7 Pick 227
Round 7 Pick 251*

NFL Draft schedule:

Rounds 4-7: 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 29: (Rounds 4-6 – 5 minutes per pick, Round 7 - 4 minutes per pick)