Shaq Lawson needs to be at or near the top of the Miami Dolphins' draft board. Lawson’s ceiling is very high in my opinion because he has a ton of tools to work with as a pass rusher. Lawson’s floor is also very high because at the very least he can be a run stuffing defensive end that can give you clean up sacks with his relentlessness.
I am certain if he stays healthy he will be a perennial Pro Bowler due to his relentlessness, quick burst, strength, technique, and many tools he has to rush the passer.
Lawson is a creator. He has great hand technique that prevents offensive tackles from putting their hands on him and controlling him. He has enough quickness to win on an outside pass rush; which makes offensive tackles have to respect the outside pass rush.
Lawson makes offensive tackles pay for over committing with a plethora of counter moves. Lawson can counter with a quick side step, a spin move, and a bull rush.
Lawson is the only confirmed Force Player in this draft class. Justis Mosqueda, the brain trust behind Force Players, describes Force Players as, “an athletic threshold based off of combine performances of pass-rushers that I’ve been working on since 2011… It works as a healthy risk analysis based on a sample of the 2005 through 2015 draft classes… It’s heavily based around the three-cone drill and both the vertical and broad jumps. The short shuttle and the 10-yard split from the 40-yard dash are weighted more than the 40-yard dash itself.”
Some of the Force Players are J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Ware, Khalil Mack, Ziggy Ansah, Mario Williams, and etc. The list is filled with impressive players, and can be seenhere, also Draft twitter fans need to follow Justis Mosqueda. Mosqueda is a bright rising star in the draft community.
Lawson is one of the best prospects in this draft at playing the run. He has great strength in his punch. This play demonstrates Lawson’s awesome punch when he tosses the blocker out of the way to make a tackle for loss.
Lawson racked up 12 sacks in the 2015-16 season, but I feel like he could have gotten more. In my opinion, scheme limited Lawson’s sack production. He was asked to stay home a lot, this means to not rush the QB and let things come to him, especially when playing option teams in college. This play demonstrates exactly what I am talking about.
The thing I love about Lawson is he has moves on moves. Lawson on this play tries to get past the left tackle’s outside shoulder. The left tackle matches him step for step, so Lawson does a vicious spin move. Luckily for the left tackle, his left guard comes to assist and obstructs Lawson’s inside path to the QB.
Lawson does not give up. He finds his balance and runs past the left tackle’s outside path again. Lawson was able to get a hand on the QB but he lost his balance and fell to the floor.
Lawson has a really high motor as shown on this play. Lawson gets stopped for attempt to get to the pass rusher but keeps working towards the sack. Lawson doesn’t give up on the play which leads him to getting the sack.
Lawson doesn’t have the best first step nor is he a natural bender, he does however have great hand technique and an inside power rush game. This sets up Lawson’s ability to win the edge. Lawson keeps moving and doesn’t allow the left tackle to get his hands on him. Here is an example.
It is strange with Lawson because even though he doesn’t have an incredible first step off the snap, he does have a great sudden burst. This clip shows his freaky sudden quickness.
On this play, Lawson shows what happens when he gets his hands into the blocker’s chest. He has violent relentless hands and is able to push back the left tackle.
Lawson has a great hand swipe. It is on display in this clip. Lawson swipes the hands of the left tackle which takes away the left tackle's ability to get a hand on Lawson and control him.
Lawson has a great counter game. Lawson has enough speed to make the left tackle respect him getting to the edge, which makes the left tackle overcompensate. Lawson makes the left tackle pay for this overcompensation with his counter step to the inside, and is rewarded with an unobstructed path to the QB.
Lawson again counters his outside move but this time with a bull rush. He doesn’t get the sack but he affects the throw.
Lawson shows another way of countering his outside edge rush with an incredibly crisp spin move. He may have started this play lining up offsides but his spin move is still very impressive. Lawson gets the offensive tackle to over commit to his outside. That’s when Lawson spins back inside for a clear path to the QB.
Lawson also possesses versatility. A defensive coordinator could push him inside as a 3-tech, he can rush the pass rusher with his hand in the dirt, or standing up. He could also drop into zone. On this play, Lawson demonstrates his ability to drop in zone. The receiver does catch the ball but Lawson is able to put a crushing blow on the receiver.
It is one thing to be put inside and not really do anything but it is another thing to be put inside and make an impact. Lawson shows his impact on this play. I believe the coach put him inside on this play to make sure the QB doesn’t escape the pocket. He is able to maintain his ground while watching the QB. Once Lawson is in striking range, he dispatches his blocker and makes the play on the QB which results in a fumble.
This film review was done by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl
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