2. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson 6-4, 355 (1)
Career Statistics: 131 tackles, 10 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 3 fumble recoveries
Why Dexter Lawrence Is Here On The List: Get over the PED suspension that cost him the College Football Playoff. Of course he’ll be tested through the roof, and of course that’s going to be a major concern that’s going to make him slide. And then come great team will move heaven and earth to get him around the 20ish range. And why?
He’s probably the best overall prospect in this draft, knocked down just a slight peg here because of the obvious issues.
With massive size, ridiculous quickness, and the all-around game to be the star a defense works around, he’s the total package right out of central casting. While his tackle production went down after a phenomenal first season, he also had a whole lot of help from the NFL talent around him making things happen. Most of the time, it was his job to stuff everything and be the anchor for everyone else.
What The NFL Types Want To See: It’s ALL about character. He’s getting dogged on the scouting circuit because of the PED kerfuffle, but he’s a special player talent-wise. The scouts and GMs are going to grill him hard on his maturity and ability to handle everything that’s coming as the anchor of an NFL line.
Bottom Line: Take away that and he really does deserve No. 1 overall consideration. Human beings this big and this quick and this talented at football are rare – and Lawrence isn’t that just because of that. The best part is that he’s already the best run stopper in the draft, and he’s still getting better. With a little more time and technique work to go along with all of that talent and all of those tools, he’s going to be terrific.