The ‘final’ 7-Round New Orleans Saints mock draft
Round 1, Pick 12
Previous choice: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Players left on board: Ezekiel Elliot, RB (Ohio State), Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida); Sheldon Rankins, DT (Louisville); Darron Lee, LB (Ohio State)
While Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner dominate the talk of the top defensive ends available, Clemson’s Shaq Lawson is well worth the look. Lawson isn’t just a good pass rusher. He’s also a good run stopper. In 2015, Lawson led the NCAA with 22.5 tackles for loss. He brings a combination of size, speed, quickness, burst, awareness, and pursuit – the qualities and traits you only hope to gain from a good defensive player.
Lawson has visited with the Saints, and has attracted many scouts on his radar. He certainly helped his case by turning in the fourth highest defensive lineman 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine at 4.70 seconds, as well as top performer is other categories.
When it’s all said and done, Shaq Lawson could be a heck of a pairing with Cam Jordan. If you’re still not sold, then film tells all, but I’d implore you to check out an extra writeup on Lawson first:
"Lawson’s talent is rare because he is capable of defending the run while also attacking passers. He has the size and athleticism to start from day one at any end position, whether as an interior five-technique in sub-packages, starting at base seven-technique, or spelling sophomore Hau’oli Kikaha at the wide nine-technique. Lawson is such an outrageous athlete that he can conceivably line up anywhere on the perimeter of the defensive front."
Next: Round 2