Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson has been tabbed as a likely first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, but an injury concern could negatively impact his stock.
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Lawson's shoulder was reportedly flagged at the NFL Scouting Combine, which means he must return to Indianapolis to get it checked out for a second time at a later date.
However, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report noted "at least a dozen teams passed [Lawson] on physical," adding it "sounds like" one or two teams flagged him on his shoulder.
Per Breer, Lawson played through a shoulder ailment during the 2015 campaign, and he did not miss a game despite the injury.
Lawson was dominant in 2015 for a Clemson team that was undefeated until the national championship game. He registered 12.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss, and he was a consensus All-America selection.
He seemingly gave his draft status an additional boost at the combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and completing the three-cone drill in 4.21 seconds at 269 pounds, per NFL.com. The numbers ranked fourth and second, respectively, among defensive linemen.
Lawson is a fantastic athlete and a dominant force as a pass-rusher, which could push him inside the top 10 of the draft.
The shoulder issue is something teams must keep an eye on, but the fact that it didn't impact his play in 2015 is certainly an encouraging sign.
Selecting Lawson early in the draft will require a significant financial commitment, though, which is why all 32 franchises must do their due diligence with regard to his health.
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