In 23 games at Boise State, Lawrence accumulated 19 sacks and 34 tackles for a loss. He is a lanky athlete with a knack for getting around the edge and into the quarterback’s pocket. Lawrence measured in at 6’3”, 251 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In terms of production per game, Lawrence finished third among edge-rushers behind Barr and Mack.
Though he may be a bit undersized to play with his hand in the dirt at the next level, Lawrence does have the frame to pack on some more weight, if needed. His most natural position seems to be as a DE in a 4-3 front, but these days, it really doesn’t matter whether the guy has his hand down or if he’s coming off the edge in a two-point stance.
Lawrence closes fast with decent effort, however, he does seem to wear down at times which hurts his perception of being a high-motor prospect.
Once this kid learns to use hand technique and build his repertoire of rush moves rather than rely exclusively on his quickness, Lawrence should be able to dominate at the next level. With that said, he is still ready to contribute immediately as a rush specialist on passing downs.
For those out there who believe Dee Ford is more worthy of this list, keep this in mind: Ford relies too much on side swipes to get blockers hands off his chest, and he does not use his arm length to his advantage. He loves to dip and rip. He also let AJ McCarron run away from him, which is a sign he doesn’t close ground in open space like you’d like to see.
Lastly, Ford only had 20.5 sacks in 52 career games while at Auburn. He may end up being a skilled pass-rusher in the NFL, but it will not yield immediate results.
Ryan Riddle is a former NFL player who writes for Bleacher Report.
For more draft discussion, follow him on Twitter @Ryan_Riddle