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2016 NFL Draft: Shaq Lawson right fit for pass-rush needy New York Giants?

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Shaq Lawson of Clemson is one of the top-ranked defensive ends in the draft. Is he fit to be the first draft pick of the Ben McAdoo era?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to mock drafts in 2016, there is already a "go to" pick for the New York Giants. It is Shaq Lawson, the Clemson Tigers' star defensive end. But is he really worth the 10th overall pick? Let's take a closer look at a player many believe could be a Giant come May.

Measurables

Pros

  • Productive player: 59 total tackles, 24.5 Tackles for a loss (1st in NCAA), 12.5 sacks (1st in ACC, 4th in NCAA)
  • NFL-ready build with powerful legs and a stout torso
  • Impressive lateral agility
  • Plays with power to bully most college tackles and shed blocks
  • Good play awareness, quickly locates the ball and isn't fooled by play fakes
  • Shows good leverage and pad level, as well as surprising flexibility for his thick build

Cons

  • Length. At 6-3, he is shorter than the Giants generally prefer, and his arm length could be important.
  • Inconsistent first step. Does the defensive scheme slow him down with reads, is his anticipation inconsistent, or is he just not "twitchy"? His 10-yard split, vertical, and broad jumps will be important.
  • Played on a very good Clemson team. Not a "con" in and of itself, but did pressure from Clemson's offense and the surrounding talent on defense (potentially three other first rounders) make Lawson look better than he is?

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

CBS - 8th overall

Draft Tek - 18th overall

Does He Fit with The Giants?

Yes.

Right now the Giants have two defensive ends under contract, and one of them -- Owamagbe Odighizuwa -- missed most of 2015 with an injury. They are going to have to sink a bunch of resources into the end positions. Lawson has the strength and discipline to set the edge in the run game, which the Giants have to like. But on the other hand, they need to find answers with regards to his length and whether or not he has the twitch to be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL.

Final Thoughts

Shaq Lawson is a prospect that you've seen and heard a lot of already in mock drafts. He is one of the players most commonly mocked to the Giants. And with good reason, as he is a very good player, and one of the top defensive ends in the country. For a team that is starving for a pass rush and could lose its best defensive ends to free agency, the pick of the best defensive end available is almost a no-brainer. We will have to see more of the process unfold before we decide if Lawson really is worth the 10th overall pick, but expect to see a lot more of him next to the Giants' logo in mock drafts over the next few months.