With the 17th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Dexter Lawrence, interior defensive lineman from Clemson.
One of the major storylines coming into the 2019 NFL Draft is the Clemson defensive front. With all four players coming in as potential first-round picks, the legend started with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Lawrence came in as a freshman and burst onto the scene. Now he hears his name on the biggest stage of his life — so far.
Dexter Lawrence is a mammoth of a man on the interior of the defensive line. Coming in at 6’4″ and nearly 350 pounds, offensive linemen are going to struggle to move Lawrence. That size is going to pay massive dividends in the run game. You simply aren’t going to have much success running at Lawrence. He has the size and strength to eat up multiple blockers, allowing his linebackers to fire in and clean house.
That size also serves Lawrence well in the passing game, albeit as more of a complementary piece than as a primary pass rusher from the interior. Lawrence’s size and strength allows him to occupy multiple blockers and create clear rushing lanes for his smaller, quicker counterparts. As his freshman numbers indicate, Lawrence is no slouch as a pass rusher, either.
Consistency is going to be what drives Lawrence down some teams’ draft boards. Lawrence came in as a freshman and put up very impressive numbers. However, Lawrence failed to live up to those lofty expectations in his next two seasons. Though his numbers were still respectable, teams will wonder what happened to the beast they saw initially.
Lawrence’s size can be somewhat of a hindrance for him, especially when it comes to his pass rush skill-set. Lawrence is a guy who has relied on his size to win, and that’s not something he can rely on consistently in the NFL. The talent is bigger, strong, and faster than anything he’s come up against. Lawrence will likely be asked to slim down a bit and work with his position coaches to refine and expand his pass rush moves.
How Lawrence will help the Giants?
Lawrence is going to help the Giants by providing them with a mountain of a man on the inside. He’s going to be a player that offensive coordinators have to plan around in the running game. Additionally, he’s going to complement the pass rushers around him, providing them with more space to work with. Lawrence’s impact may be felt more than the box score may indicate, but it will be felt.