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PFF scouting report: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Name: Carl Lawson
School: Auburn
Position fit: Edge defender, either outside linebacker in a 3-4 or defensive end in a 4-3
Stats to know: Averaged a sack, hit or hurry once every 5.4 pass rushing attempts in 2016

What he does best:

  • Wins as a pass-rusher in variety of ways. Picked up sacks, hits and hurries on outside moves, inside moves, bull rushes and on spin moves.
  • Consistent pass-rush threat. Had just one game in 2016 where he failed to register at least three total pressures.
  • Finally put together a full season after missing all of 2014 and half of 2015 through injury.
  • Uses his hands very well as a pass-rusher, helping him to a pass-rushing productivity rating of 15.1, ranking ninth among 3-4 outside linebackers.
  • Responsible for three of the 14 total pressures charged to Mississippi State right tackle Justin Senior, a draftable prospect, beating him for a sack and two hurries.
  • Productive when kicking inside to rush the passer, creating pressure on 40 percent of his rushes in between the tackles
  • Has flashed against the run, with 11 of his 13 tackles resulting in a defensive stop. Still has room to grow here.

Biggest concern:

  • While he has flashed against the run, has lacked consistency. 11 of his 13 tackles may have resulted in a defensive stop, but his run stop percentage of just 4.5 percent was seventh-worst among 3-4 outside linebackers in the SEC.
  • Missed a season and a half of playing time over his college career. Leaves a lower sample size than you would like to see.
  • Had some struggles against pull blocks in the running game. Just one positively graded play in this area in 2016.
  • Not a consistent problem, but was caught losing contain or overpursuing five times in 2016.
  • Could be more disciplined. Had six offsides or neutral zone infraction penalties in 2016.

Player Comparison: Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins

Wake has never really been a dominant player against the run, but has consistently been one of the league's top pass-rushers since entering the league in 2009.

Bottom line: The lack of consistency and overall production against the run is something of a concern with Lawson, but his talent as a pass-rusher is impossible to deny. In the very least though, he has the talent teams are going to fall in love with as a pass-rusher.

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