Weight: 308 lbs.
Rashard Lawrence is a tough, athletic, disruptive interior defensive lineman who uses his size and leverage to affect plays. He showed the ability to explode off the line of scrimmage and hold his own or drive blockers backward while maintaining leverage and keeping a solid pad level. The national champion was a key leader on LSU’s dominant defensive line, which ranked 21st in the nation with 120.8 rushing yards allowed per game.
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However, Lawrence could stand to improve his technique to reach his potential, as by better using his hands, he can make up for his lack of length when defending the run and generating pressure. He’s not fast or nimble, and he may not be an effective pass rusher at the next level, as his strength is as a run stuffer.
Why he may fit with Washington:
The Redskins’ rushing defense was near the bottom of the NFL last season, as it surrendered over 146 yards per game on the ground, which was the league’s second-worst mark. Washington’s defensive line showed strength getting after the passer, however, as the team’s sack percentage of 7.85% tied for eighth in the NFL. Lawrence could be a logical fit, given his aptitude and track record against the run. While he’s not going to get after the passer often, he may not need to in Washington with young defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne holding their own.
Rashard Lawrence projects as a productive NFL run defender who excels in that area, though he may lack the versatility to add value as a pass rusher who will chase down mobile quarterbacks.
Projected Round: 4th