The Buffalo Bills used their first round draft pick last season on Shaq Lawson, knowing he would miss half of the season. Time to unleash the beast.
Shaq Lawson ended up missing the first six weeks of his rookie season after having shoulder surgery several weeks after the NFL draft, where he was selected 19th overall out of Clemson.
Making matters a little more difficult, missing OTA’s, training camp and preseason didn’t help him adjust to the speed of the NFL before his debut in Week 7 vs. the Miami Dolphins. Rex Ryan was smart about his draft pick and eased him into the system.
He only played two games with more than half of the team’s defensive snaps — Week 8 vs. New England and Week 14 vs. Pittsburgh — and didn’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase anything spectacular. He did manage to have two straight games with a sack, followed up by a game with a stuff.
Not to mention the forced fumble vs. the Cleveland Browns. In those four games mentioned, he combined for just 90 snaps on defense.
You can definitely expect much more from Shaq Lawson this season, who will enter a full-time starter role at defensive end. With the switch to a 4-3 defense, Lawson will no longer be seen as a rushing outside linebacker, but a fierce defensive end alongside some of the better defensive tackles in the game.
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This will bode well for the second-year Lawson, who will benefit from a lot of attention being drawn by the rest of the line — which will include Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes. He has also been seen on Instagram (his profile is below) putting in some hard work in preparation for training camp, which will begin on July 27th.
Shaq Lawson Profile
Weight: 270 pounds
Age: 22 years old
Drafted: 1st Round, 19th (2016 by BUF)
Current Contract: 4-year $10.279 million
2017 Base Salary: $917,226
2017 Cap Hit: $2.336 million
2016 Stats (BUF): 10 games, 13 tackles, 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble, one pass defensed 1 stuff for 4 yards
2017 Prediction: 15 games, 69 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed, 9 stuffs
2016 NFL Draft Combine
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
Vertical jump: 33.0 inches
Broad jump: 120.0 inches
3-cone drill: 7.16 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.21 seconds
“I’m going to live up to that,” Lawson said, via the Buffalo News. “That’s what they want me to do. I’m going to give them a reason why they drafted me here as a first-round pick. It’s time to bring what I had back when I was in college.”
How do you think Shaq Lawson will perform this season? Leave your thoughts below!