The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence has been part of a dominant college defensive line and is now a candidate to be drafted early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Position: Defensive Tackle
2018 stats: 36 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three passes defended, one fumble recovery
Size: 6-foot-4, 340 pounds
Lawrence was on a Clemson defensive line that could send five or more players to the NFL in this draft class. He was one of the stars of the defensive line and the defense as a whole, helping create one of college football’s best teams over the last three years.
As a Tiger, Lawrence had 131 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one interception, four passes defended, three fumble recoveries and one fumble forced. He made a huge impact on the team as a freshman, helping Clemson win a National Championship. Although Clemson lost in the College Football Playoff at the end of the 2017 season, Lawrence helped them reclaim the title in the 2018 season on a defense that led the nation in sacks. He was unable to play in the College Football Playoff though, as a result of a failed drug test.
Even though he wasn’t on the field for the National Championship, Lawrence was a big part of the Clemson team and one of its top draft prospects. His goal now will be to get drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Lawrence has the build of a great defensive tackle and could also play nose tackle because of his size. He is 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds, which makes him hard to move for an offensive lineman. This allows him to have a two-gap ability and take on double teams. His size will allow him to fit into different schemes and be productive.
He is good against the running game, as blockers aren’t able to block him one on one a lot of the time. Lawrence maintains good gap integrity, which allows other players to go make the play. He also can go get the ball carrier for himself by shedding blockers and shooting gaps.
His strength is apparent, as he is able to shed blockers with ease, or as mentioned earlier, take on double teams. With that strength, Lawrence is able to move whoever is blocking him. He will be vastly bigger and stronger than most interior linemen in the NFL.
Lawrence isn’t a great pass rusher. He has a good bull rush, but doesn’t regularly get to the quarterback. With that, he needs to add more pass rushing moves and counters to be more effective. If he can add a few more moves to his game, he could present a threat as an interior pass rusher.
While Lawrence is very athletic for his size, his lateral mobility and agility aren’t on par with other interior defensive linemen. Once he gets moving one way he can maintain decent speed, but if he has to change direction it causes him some problems.
In the College Football Playoff, Lawrence was deemed ineligible because he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. It doesn’t seem like it was intentional, but it will raise questions about him that he will have to answer.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round