NAME: Dexter Lawrence
POSITION: Defensive Tackle
RECRUITMENT RATING: 5-star
WT: 340 lbs
Ball Get Off: Initial step is good for his size but still lacks ideal explosiveness. Doesn’t possess enough juice to penetrate gaps or beat opposing lineman to their set points. Yet, has shown the ability to turn speed to power while bull rushing.
Hand Usage: Understands optimal hand placement (opponents’ chest plate) when defending the run. Does a good job of stacking blockers just needs to discard them more. Arms seem to be on the shorter side, so he doesn’t create much leverage with his length. In terms of pass rushing he is pretty well versed with his hands as well. Deploys some effective swims, swipes, rips, and his a nice long arm move. Also show that he can hit his leverage points with powerful strikes to get his adversaries off kilter. Hands will go stagnant at times, which causes him to get glued to blocks. Would like to see him incorporate some push pull moves in his arsenal as well.
Pad Level and Flexibility: Pad level is functional but will swell up occasionally. Especially when pass rushing. He does an excellent job of squatting down and using his large frame to anchor against the run. Surprisingly gets moved off his spot against double teams at times. Usually because he gets caught high. Hips are stiff. Struggles to turn through tight corners and slip under blockers.
Motor: High effort player for the most part. It’s his endurance that is concerning. Players at his size usually don’t possess the same juice throughout the entirety of games. Wasn’t really tested in this regard because of how deep Clemson’s rotation was. Keeping him fresh will be crucial to his success (especially as a pass rusher).
Pass Rush Ability: Can rush the passer better than most players his size. However, his frame and skill set still present limitations in this area of his game. Like mentioned before, lacks the optimal explosiveness, agility, and flexibility to be a consistent threat on passing downs. With that being said, he still is very technical and can some nice things as a slow burn pass rusher. Also can collapse the pocket when rushing head up on his opponent. Would like to see him implement some counter strikes into his repertoire.
Awareness: Smart and assignment sound football player. Understands gap integrity and how to two gap. Vision for the ball/ball carrier could improve. Times where he would have his head down and the play would go right past him.
Best Trait: Run Defense
Worst Trait: Ball Get Off
Best Film: Duke (2018)
Worst Film: Auburn (2017)
Dexter Lawrence projects favorably as a space eating 1 technique, where he would make most of his impact on early downs. He is a capable pass rusher but defending the run is his true calling. With that being said, it’s hard to see Lawrence as an every down player because he doesn’t possess the elite athleticism or endurance to be a dynamic pass rusher. He would be best in a rotation, where he has a specific role and could contribute in doses.
- Crabbs, Kyle. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Dexter Lawrence.” The Draft Network, 20 Jan. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/01/20/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-dexter-lawrence/.