Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft on Monday projected the Browns to land Clemson’s defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence with the No. 17 overall pick.
What the Browns will do with the seventeenth pick is just about interesting as making the case for Dexter Lawrence. Before Monday, mock drafts were leaning towards the Browns drafting Jeffery Simmons.
Since then, Simmons has suffered a torn ACL. A video had surfaced of Simmons partaking in a physical altercation with a female. The pairing of an ACL tear and domestic abuse issues could be enough for the Browns to stay away from him at seventeen.
Lawrence doesn’t come without flaws either.
Lawrence failed a drug test that would suspend him for the Dec. 9 Cotton Bowl as well as the National Championship victory over the Alamaba Crimson Tide.
The 21-year-old was unaware that he had the banned performance enhancing drugs in his system. He said he does not know where it came from. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the drug could have been given to the 350-pounder by the university, by mistake.
It’s fair to assume that scouts and general managers will ask him questions about his failed samples during the NFL Combine. As far as his on-the-field abilities go, onlookers will be impressed.
Lawrence is a dominant force against the run. The Browns are a team that is looking to bolster their run defense this offseason, so Lawrence fits the part.
He has the ability to move blocks where he wants to, however, he is very limited against the pass. Good luck blocking Lawrence one-on-one. He has a big, strong frame, but also shows small bursts of athletic ability. He has the tools to be a successful two-down DT in the NFL.
The concern amongst Browns fans regarding Lawrence is his frame. Although he is taller, his figure resembles Danny Shelton, who never really panned out in Cleveland. Lawrence is not an over-the-top athlete. A more explosive, athletic DT, that will probably be available at seventeen, is Clemson Tiger Christian Wilkins.
If you’re lucky, Lawrence could fall to Day 2 of the NFL Draft. We will have to wait and see if Browns GM John Dorsey reaches for the run-stuffing defensive tackle with the No. 17 overall pick.