News & Analysis

2019 NFL Draft Profile: DI Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Dec 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) celebrates after a sack in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Coming in as PFF’s sixth-ranked interior defender and 32nd-overall prospect, Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence is both strong against the run and in the pass rush. At 340 lbs., he may be more of a two-down player, but his great athleticism and his ability to overpower his opponent in a one-on-one makes him a first-round prospect.

[Editor’s Note: To view all of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats and grades for draft-eligible players, check out our 2019 NFL Draft Guide. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers already have access to the guide, and for those who don’t, you can get your copy for as low as $9.99!]

Lawrence has been undeniably productive in each of his three seasons at Clemson. His 90.3 overall grade as a true freshman was the best among his classmates, and his overall consistency makes him one of the safest picks in this draft.

Lawrence is in the upper echelon of pass rushers in the defensive interior class, as he generated the third-highest pressure rate at 13.8%. He has natural leverage with his size, and he is a burden to defend in one-on-one situations.

Perhaps the biggest flaw on Lawrence was how little he was on the field for Clemson. He only played 116 snaps on third and fourth downs, over 60 snaps fewer than his teammate Christian Wilkins. Furthermore, his size may prevent him from being on the field on a three-down basis at the next level, which could cause him to fall to the early second-round.

All of PFF’s 2019 NFL Draft Profiles can be viewed here or on PFF’s YouTube Channel. Follow along as we go through all the top prospects in the draft.

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