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Posts tagged with "Carl Lawson"

Nov 14, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive lineman Carl Lawson (55) walks on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Former Auburn DE Carl Lawson picked up an impressive 9.5 sacks during the 2016 season, but still found himself waiting until Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft to hear his name called.

The ex-Tiger was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round, falling so far in part due to concerns about his lack of size.

However, according to the Springfield News-Sun, the Bengals are going to try to get the most out of the talented pass rusher by adding some new skills to his arsenal at the linebacker position:

“We’re going to use him in both areas,” Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “Right now he’s working half as a linebacker and half as an end in nickel situations. I’ve always said the more you can do the better.

“(His intelligence) is very key. It’s one of the factors why we took him. A guy who can’t understand football concepts can’t do the things we’re going to ask him to do.”

What the Bengals are going to ask him to do, in addition to rushing the passer, is cover an occasional tight end or running back out of the backfield on passing downs.

If he can adjust to his new role quickly, he could be one of the steals of this year’s draft.

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Carl Lawson has finally found a professional home.

The former Auburn defensive end was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No.116 overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday in Philadelphia.

“I was a little surprised,” Lawson said at the timing of his selection. “I’m happy just to get the opportunity.”

Lawson had 30 tackles with team-highs in tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (nine) last season. He was Auburn’s highest-graded player in the Sugar Bowl, according to Pro Football Focus, which credited him with nine sacks, 13 hits, and 42 hurries on 364 pass-rushing snaps in 2016.

“Carl Lawson in the fourth round really provided (us with) a player that has played on his feet, played outside in the 3-4 defense there at Auburn, and we really feel he has the versatility to be one of those swing guys here,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “We can teach him to play linebacker in our defense, (and he can) have an opportunity to be a down guy on third downs and in passing situations.”

Most analysts projected Lawson as a second or third-round pick due mostly to durability concerns from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2014 and hip flexor in 2015.

“The doctors here cleared him and felt good about where he was headed medically,” Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “He had a couple bumps and bruises along his college career that might have set him back some. At this point, he’s cleared medically and we felt really good about taking him there.”

At the Combine, Lawson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds, had a 33-inch vertical jump, a 114-inch broad jump, 7.46-second three-cone drill and led all defensive linemen with 35 bench press reps and with a 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle.

Bengals defensive line coach Jacob Burney paid close attention to Lawson when he ran the defensive line drills at Auburn’s pro day.

“His outstanding effort,” Burney said. “I put it to him, and he stood up every time. That was very impressive. This is a talented kid, a leader on that team, and he was ready to go. Some other guys faded, but he was there. So it just let me know how tough he is between his ears. With the talent, with his leadership qualities, we’re getting a good football mind, as well as a good personality. We’re fortunate to get him.”

Lawson told reporters Burney “tried to kill” the defensive linemen that day.

“I could tell he was going for broke because I saw him right before the drill started and I tried to wave at him and smile, and he didn’t smile back,” Lawson said. “So I knew we were in for an intense workout.”

An FWAA All-American and All-SEC honoree, Lawson performed positional drills at both end and outside linebacker during Auburn’s pro day on March 10.

The 6-foot-2, 253-pound Lawson is the second of four Auburns player chosen in this year’s draft, joining Montravius Adams, who was picked by the Green Bay Packers in the third round on Friday, Rudy Ford and Josh Holsey.

Lawson’s four-year contract is projected to be worth $3.05 million with a more than $652,000 signing bonus, according to OverTheCap.com.

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The Cincinnati Bengals landed two of the most well known players in the draft in first-round wide receiver John Ross, who lit up the Combine with his record-breaking 4.22 40-yard dash, and running back Joe Mixon, who has been in the news as a controversial figure since being charged with assault in 2014.

More serious college fans also might have been aware of defensive ends Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson, whom the Bengals took in the third and fourth rounds, respectively.

But it’s likely most fans don’t know much about the rest of the team’s selections, so here are seven things to know about the final seven players the Bengals drafted Saturday:

Tennessee trend

When the Bengals selected Tennessee wide receiver Josh Malone with their second of three fourth-round picks, it continued a curious trend of players traveling up I-75 to swap shades of orange.

The last four players the Bengals have drafted out of Tennessee have all been wide receivers – Kelley Washington (third round, 2003), Carl Pickens (second round, 1992) and Tim McGee (first round, 1986).

Malone ran an impressive 4.4 40-yard dash at the Combine after catching 11 of his 14 collegiate touchdowns last fall as a junior.

Walk this way

Defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, the team’s third of three fourth-round picks, is one of three brothers who walked on at the University of Michigan.

His older brother Graham earned a scholarship after his sophomore year and was a third-round pick of the Detroit Lions last year and started 11 games at center and guard. Ryan also earned his scholarship after his second season, and younger brother Jordan, a backup at the hybrid linebacker/safety position Jabrill Peppers played, is hoping to follow the same path as heads into his junior season this fall.

Asked if he knew that Bengals and Lions play this season and that he might get a chance to go head-to-head against Graham, Jake was fully aware.

“Yeah, Christmas eve,” he laughed. “It’s going to be a great Christmas for the Glasgow family.”

Net gain

Jake Elliott began his athletic career trying to avoid putting balls into a net, but the converted tennis player has been aiming for the stringed targets behind the goal post since switching to football and becoming one of the top kickers in the country.

“At a pep rally my freshman year in high school, one of the coaches saw me kicking in some crazy competition and offered for me to come out,” Elliott said. “I kind of brushed it off, but my junior year rolled around and someone from the football team came and grabbed me from the tennis courts. So I decided to go out a week or two before the season and had a great year. Everything kind of rolled from there.”

Elliott not only broke all of Stephen Gostkowski’s records at Memphis, he has 224 for 244 on extra points and field goals of 30 yards or less.

Strange switch

It’s not uncommon to see offensive linemen switch between guard and tackle or guard and center, but Utah’s J.J. Dielman, whom the Bengals took with their second pick in the fifth round, took the rare route from being a two-year starter at tackle to starting at center as senior before suffering a season-ending broken foot in the fifth game.

He said he isn’t sure, or concerned, about what the Bengals have in mind for him.

“We haven’t gotten too deep as to where and what I’m going to play, but I would assume center and the interior position,” he said. “But I’ve spent time at tackle too, so I am down to play wherever, just as long as I play on the O-Line.”

Dielman said he also practiced at guard at times but never took a snap there in a game.

Father’s footsteps

For the second time in his career, Jordan Evans will call his dad’s old stomping grounds home.

Evans, whom the Bengals drafted with their first pick in the sixth round, played linebacker at Oklahoma, where his dad, Scott, was a three-time all-league defensive tackle.

Scott didn’t go on to play for the Bengals the way Jordan will, but he did grow up in Cincinnati before moving to Norman, Okla., as a teenager.

Six ways to six

Houston cornerback Brandon Wilson, whom the Bengals took with their second pick in the sixth round, is a converted running back who scored eight touchdowns six different ways.

Asked about that on his conference call with reporters, Wilson had instant recall.

“I can name all of them,” he said. “My first one was a (missed) field goal return my redshirt freshman year. Then I had two touchdowns — one on a strip/fumble recovery, and then I had an interception for a touchdown. I had two (kickoff) returns for a touchdown, one against Louisville and one against the University of Connecticut. Then I had two rushing touchdowns against Navy.”

“How many is that,” he laughed.

The sixth different way he scored was by returning a blocked field goal.

Stealing Schreck

Buffalo tight end Mason Schreck said his agent had already worked out contract terms for him sign with the Philadelphia Eagles when he found the Bengals were taking him in the seventh round as the 251st of 253 players drafted.

“Not two minutes later, coach Lewis called me and broke the news to me,” Schreck said. “I honestly broke down in tears. I’m so excited — so excited to go to Cincinnati and help this team go in the right direction and help them win a Super Bowl.”

While many sites did not have Schreck listed in the top 30 tight ends available, the Bengals clearly liked him as they brought the 6-5, 258-pounder in for one of their allotted 30 pre-draft player visits.

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