The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Dexter Lawrence
Player position: Defensive tackle
Years left of eligibility: 3 years
Current rank on depth chart: First Team
Player productivity so far: Lawrence started 11 games last year as a true freshman, earning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He had 78 tackles overall, including 9.5 tackles for loss. He also had seven sacks and pressured the quarterback 23 more times.
What player does best: Lawrence is disruptive. He is virtually unblockable up front. He has quick first step off the ball, and he can overpower anyone he goes up against.
What player needs to work on: There is not much to criticize here, if anything at all. Lawrence has told us he has some things to work on. He still wants to get stronger and he believes by trimming up a little bit he can be more agile and even quicker off the line.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Grady Jarrett, 2012: He played in all 13 games and started 11. He totaled 49 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss. He had two sacks and 10 quarterback pressures.
Grady Jarrett, 2014: He was a third-team All-American after recording 73 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. He had 1.5 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures.
Carlos Watkins, 2015: He played in 15 games. He totaled 69 tackles, including 8 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also had 3 deflected passes and returned an interception 15 yards for a touchdown.
Carlos Watkins, 2016: He was a second-team All-American after recording 82 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss. He had 10.5 sacks, the most by a Clemson defensive tackle in school history. He also deflected four passes and had 13 quarterback pressures.
What can you hope for? Lawrence continues to get better and has an even better season than last year when he burst on the scene and became one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the country.
What is a realistic expectation? It is realistic to believe Lawrence becomes an All-American. I can see his tackle total maybe stay in the same area, while it is realistic to assume he can have more tackles behind the line of scrimmage and more sacks this coming season.
What about the future? The good news for Clemson is that Lawrence is just a sophomore and has two whole seasons to play for the Tigers before he can even think about the NFL. He is without a doubt of future first-round draft choice and maybe the first overall pick in the NFL Draft when he does decide to come out in a few years.