Now in his third NFL season as a member of the New York Giants, former Clemson star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence believes he has improved on a weekly basis over the course of the 2021 campaign. However, he’s still not where he wants to be.
Lawrence was pegged by some as a future perennial Pro Bowler when he was taken by the Giants in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. But although he has looked like a dominant force in the middle of the D-line at times, he has not yet established himself as one of the NFL’s truly elite interior defensive linemen.
That’s ultimately the goal for Lawrence, a former first-team All-American at Clemson who was also a three-time All-ACC selection during his career with the Tigers from 2016-18.
“In my eyes, I’m playing hard every play, giving it my all, I’m making plays,” Lawrence said to reporters recently. “Just got to be more consistent, and still got a lot to prove.”
Though he is hungry for more, Lawrence has in fact been productive thus far during his NFL career, piling up 139 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks, 28 quarterback hits, five passes defended and two forced fumbles across 46 career games from 2019-21.
In 14 games this season (eight starts), the 6-foot-4, 342-pounder has posted 48 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, two passes defended and a forced fumble.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better week by week and continue to try to wreck games and take over games myself,” Lawrence said. “That’s kind of been my goal throughout the year. So, I challenge myself to lead the defense and just try to take over the game.”
–Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
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