DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson*

6’5” – 350 lbs. – 5.05

Has been a force since taking the field as a freshman, posting 62-9.0-6.5 with two blocked kicks in 2016. Followed that up with 34-3.0-2.5 and 37-7.5-1.5 this past year, with another blocked kick and seven hurries. Also rushed in a touchdown from two yards out. Big boy, to say the least; one of the “world theory” prospects whose size is probably his most attractive asset. Also carries his weight very well. Plays the nose on Clemson’s four-man lines next to Christian Wilkins, but takes snaps both inside and outside on three-man lines. Effective space-eater who can be a handful to block one-on-one. Shows the ability to fire out low, eat blockers, and generally create an obstruction on the inside; has a good pad level for a player of his height. At his best, makes opposing guards and centers look like blocking sleds, plowing into the backfield to blow up rushing attempts. Powerful enough in the lower body to handle double-teams most of the time. Has strong hands to toss blockers aside, and the grip strength to stop forward progress and bring down ballcarriers when he has the chance, even if he’s otherwise engaged. Gives good effort in pursuit; lacks the top-end speed to chase to the sidelines and make tackles, but sticks with the play within a reasonable range. Relatively light on his feet. Not particularly explosive, but because of his leverage and natural strength, can generate some pressure in the passing game as well; consequently, despite rotating into and out of the game, stayed on the field for some obvious passing downs. Does a good job of getting his arms extended and driving his legs to walk back interior linemen and prevent quarterbacks from stepping into throws. Draws double-teams, particularly when he attempts to squeeze through gaps. Predominantly a bull-rusher but mixes in a spin move from time to time as well. Plays on a team with four highly-regarded defensive linemen, and still manages to stand out because of his rare size and strength, firing out with a low pad level and exhibiting the ability to dominate single blockers with his bull-rush or dig in against double teams and clog holes in the middle. Draft stock might be somewhat affected by the league’s shift toward sub packages and more undersized front-seven defenders, but showed enough as a pass-rusher to potentially overcome that bias and go in the first round.

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