When watching the Super Bowl last night two things became crystal clear.
- Having a great quarterback trumps just about everything.
- But, even with a great quarterback, you need to be able to hit their's.
Both the Falcons and the Patriots got after each other's quarterbacks in ways we rarely saw the Cowboys do in 2016. The good news, however, is that the Cowboys get to draft in a few months. And with the incredible depth of this edge rusher class, Dallas should be able to snag a difference maker in the first round or beyond.
Marcus Mosher of Bleacher Report released his first Cowboys mock draft of 2017 this morning, in which he linked Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson to the Cowboys with the 28th overall pick.
In my draft work over at Slant Sports, I profiled Lawson and explained why I would jump-for-joy over this selection.
Lawson gets off the ball with a purpose, beating the offensive tackle around the edge right off the ball. When the tackle tries to recover, Lawson has the bend and strength to stay on his feet and rip around the edge.
Carl Lawson has many redeemable qualities, not the least of which are his active, heavy hands. He is patient with his hands, waiting for the offensive lineman to show hands before countering and swiping them away.
Once again, we see an example of Lawson winning with quick hands. This time, with a quick swim move outside of the tackle. When you continually win with outside moves like Lawson does, the offensive tackle will often over-set to compensate for the speed of the defensive end. When tackles try this against Lawson, he shows the ability to counter with an inside move and win on the pass rush.
Carl Lawson is currently my fifth ranked EDGE player in this draft class, and has earned a first round grade. In any other draft, I would expect Lawson to rise into the top 20 picks, or possibly even higher, But with this EDGE class, and his personal injury history, the odds are that the Cowboys will have a shot to snag Lawson at the end of the first round.
If he is available, I see no reason why they shouldn't jump on that opportunity.