Measuring in at 6’4″, 342-pounds was New York Giants first-round pick Dexter Lawrance at the NFL Combine. Imagine a bigger Vince Wilfork with similar strength and mobility.
Lawrence is a monster interior defender, working from the inside to attack the quarterback and plug up holes against the run. The Giants drafted him with the 17th overall pick in the draft, one of three first-rounders they used to bolster the team as a whole.
The Clemson product will fit seamlessly into the defensive front. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher features a 3-4 scheme that requires three down lineman and two outside linebackers to rush the passer. It’s very reliant on the defensive lineman to draw multiple blockers and win in the trenches. Lawrence does exactly that as he’s well versed in success coming from a Nation Title winning Clemson, team.
However, many were perplexed at the drafting of Lawrance with Montez Sweat and several premium offensive tackles on the board.
New York Giants’ Dexter Lawrence wants to prove everyone wrong:
“I’m definitely underrated,” he said. “It’s kind of on me to prove myself, right? I’ve always been able to collapse the pocket, now I’m focused on escaping blocks or finishing the plays and things like that.”
“The first thing that jumps out about Dexter is he’s a pretty big man,” Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s a guy that can play the run and rush the passer. When you pick a guy from Clemson, and he’s played on the biggest stage there is in college football… this isn’t going to be too big for him. We’re looking forward to getting him going.”
DC James Bettcher: Dexter Lawrence is one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen who moves as quickly as he does.
DeAndre Baker played in a very tough league. His tape speaks for itself. I felt he was the best cover corner in the draft, period.
— New York Giants (@Giants) May 8, 2019
There’s no question that Bettcher will use the big defensive tackle to the best of his abilities, but staying healthy will be his biggest challenge. The physicality of the NFL and the injuries he picked up while at Clemson might pose a concern, but managing his body and engaging in the proper methods of rejuvenation should aid in his maintainance.