Photo of Carl Lawson
Drafted By: Bengals
  • Round 4
  • Pick 9
  • Overall 116

Combine Results

5.67 ?
  • 4.67 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 35 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 33.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 114.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.46 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.19 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Lawson hasn't been the same player after a slew of injuries, but he should bring some juice as a rotational edge rusher to a team that had trouble getting to the QB last season. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'2" Height
  • 31 1/2" Arm Length
  • 261LBS. Weight
  • 10 3/8" Hands


After struggling to stay on the field for a couple of seasons, Lawson came through with the effort everyone expected in 2016. The first-team All-SEC selection had 13.5 tackles for loss including nine sacks for the Tigers in his junior year. This production was anticipated by Auburn coaches in 2014 after Lawson was a Freshman All-American the previous season (7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles). He injured his left knee (ACL) in the spring, however, forcing him to take a medical redshirt. The following year he was named a team captain but again missed half of the year with a hip injury, managing just one sack in seven games. Lawson went through the Senior Day ceremony with his classmates this fall, knowing his college career was coming to an end.



Well-built with good muscular definition. Strong upper body. Has crisp, sharp hands. Able to strike and release to shed tight ends quickly. Aggressive setting edge and works with maxed-out arm extension after punch. Fights through down blocks from tight ends and receivers to string outside runs to the sideline. Could play standing up or with a hand on the ground. Has NFL power and aggressiveness. Explosive get-off with some heat in his feet over first two steps upfield. Good forward lean into his rush. Slaps and chops at tackle's punch to soften the edge. Takes tight, linear track to quarterback with big close-out burst once he turns the corner. Experience rushing from interior-line spot and stand-up inside backer. Finesse tackles will struggle to handle his speed-to-power bursts.


Injuries have side-tracked playing time and production over the years. Missed 2014 with ACL tear and six games in 2015 with hip injury. Face-up rusher who struggles to get hip flip or shoulder turn at the top of his rush. Takes predictable tracks in his pass rushes and gets stuck on blocks. Needs creative rush attack with legitimate counters. Hips are tight and restrictive in lower half. Needs better knee bend throughout the rep. His momentum is sometimes too much to overcome. Washed up and around the arc and unable to drop anchor and take a stand. Poor tackle production. Pursuit is too measured and uneven. Below-average lateral agility limits tackle radius. Too content to ride out the edges he sets rather than looking to eat as tackler.

Draft Projection

Round 3

NFL Comparison

Owamagbe Odighizuwa

Bottom Line

Linear player with natural power and aggressiveness, but a lack of flexibility could hamper his potential as an NFL rusher. Lawson's twitch shows up in short, controlled bursts, but he struggles to finish if the play isn't right in front of him. Lawson's ruffneck demeanor will appeal to teams looking for an aggressive edge-setter along a physical front, but his draft grade could vary quite a bit from team to team.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster