Buccaneers’ Combine Preview – Day 3
Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson
Before the resurgence of Noah Spence, Shaq Lawson out of Clemson was one of the more popular choices for the Bucs’ first round pick.
Lawson is the pass rushing standout from the Tigers who helped take them to the second ever College Football Playoff Championship Game against Alabama. After being injured in their first playoff matchup against Oklahoma, Spence was able to return against the Crimson Tide and compete effectively.
His talent is unquestioned, and against fellow top-10 draft prospect Ronnie Stanley, Lawson racked up 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. If Stanley is an early round pick, then a man who beat him in-game has to be up there as well.
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Throughout the year, Lawson showed skill in a multitude of situations, and can play the run as well as get to the quarterback. With the Bucs moving to a 4-3 defensive scheme, defensive coordinator Mike Smith has said they’ll still play in some 3-4 sets as well.
Lawson played as a 4-3 down lineman, and a 3-4 linebacker with success in each position. His versatility means the Bucs can keep the flexibility in their scheme, and be effective in both.
As attractive as Lawson would pair with Gerald McCoy on the defensive line, imagine him also standing up with Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander.
Lawson should flash advanced athleticism at the combine, which would just solidify his position as one of the most enticing defensive ends in the draft.
Easily a first-round prospect, the Bucs will find themselves spending their top pick on Lawson if they want to bring him to Tampa for his NFL debut.
Next: DE - Noah Spence