Shaq Lawson had 24.5 tackles for losses and 12.5 sacks last season for Clemson and could be targeted by the Raiders. (AP photo)
Third in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft on April 28:
Position: Defensive end, edge rusher
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 269
Rank: No. 8 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 24 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 12 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 3 edge rusher by Mike Mayock, NFL Network.
Resume: Had an amazing 24.5 tackles last season for losses with 12.5 sacks in a breakout year. In a game against Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley, considered either the first or second-best offensive tackle in the country, Lawson had seven tackles and 3.5 tackles for losses. A first-team Associated Press All-America selection over Ohio State’s Joey Bosa and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, both considered Top 10 selections.
What to like: Junior year production is exactly what general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Jack Del Rio are looking for _ players who have the requisite skill level but most importantly show up on film. Although not a prospect along the order of Khalil Mack, Lawson, like Mack, has the upper and lower body strength to hold edge and be stout against the run.
What to watch: Can be pushed aside on inside running plays. Until the breakout junior season, Lawson’s production never matched his reputation and skill set. Started once as a sophomore with 3.5 sacks. Presence of linemate and potential first-round pick Kevin Dodd may helped him gain favorable match-ups.
Why he’s the pick for the Raiders: McKenzie and Del Rio are both of the belief you can never have too many linemen, and with the retirement of Justin Tuck and second-year player Mario Edwards Jr. dealing with a neck injury, the Raiders are thin at defensive end.
Why he’s not: Although one of the best edge players in the draft, that’s not saying a lot since it’s a down year in that area. Simply may not be high enough on the Raiders board to justify the pick.
Quotable: “I bring a lot of different moves to the pass rush. People say I’m mostly a power guy, but I don’t see myself as just a power guy. I can spin, beat you off the edge, run past you, everything,” _ Shaq Lawson at the NFL scouting combine.