The legend of Dexter Lawrence has only grown since he came to Clemson and starting at defensive tackle since his true freshman year. We’ve seen massive defensive tackles go early with both Vita Vea and Danny Shelton both being top 20 picks within the last could of years. Here we’ll take a look at what traits Dexter Lawrence has that will allow him to have success in the NFL while also looking at his best fit.
Who is Dexter Lawrence?
Standing 6’4 340lbs Lawrence has been able to control the middle of the field early on. Lawrence is at his best playing the run using his size and length to hold up blockers clogging lanes, allowing linebackers to flow and to take attention away from their big athletic edge defenders. What separates Lawrence from other run defenders is he’s able to hold his own both against one on one blocks while also standing ground against double teams. Moving Lawrence off of his spot is near impossible. Taking on blockers is one thing, but Lawrence also shows the ability to shed blocks and make plays on the ball.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 14, 2018
While rushing the passer Lawrence uses his his size and power to run through defenders to get penetration. The problem is that Lawrence lacks the lateral agility need to get off of blocks or to make moves which means he is more of a straight line bull rusher. Lawrence did have 6.5 sacks his freshman year, but dropped down to 2.5 this past year despite having plenty of talent around him to limit his double teams.
Dexter Lawrence Projection
There is a place in the NFL for dominant nose tackles but for those guys to go early in the NFL Draft they have to show the ability to rush the passer. Initial viewing of Lawrence he doesn’t have the agility that a Vita Vea has and tends to be a little one dimensional run defender. That being said, Lawrence is pretty scheme transcendent projecting to be a nose tackle in a 3 or 4 man front as a dominant run defendr. If he can improve on his pass rushing move set and show that he can be a consistent 6-10 sacks per season guy his value could get into that Vita Vea level.