Projected to be drafted somewhere between picks 10-20, Clemson defensive end/edge rusher Shaq Lawson said Monday he received good news regarding his shoulder at the NFL's recent medical re-check in Indianapolis.
“All the teams were happy,” Lawson said. “I have a full range of motion, and they said [the shoulder] looks a whole lot better from when I came up there [to Indianapolis] the first time. I really didn’t have a problem with it [the shoulder] at school.”
Lawson, who never missed a game in college, had the shoulder flagged by one team during February’s NFL scouting combine.
“No one really talked about it until I got to the combine,” Lawson said. “It didn’t affect me at all in my career playing.”
2016 NFL DRAFT
Round 1: April 28, 8 p.m. ET
Rds. 2-3: April 29, 7 p.m. ET
Rds. 4-7: April 30, noon ET
Where: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago
A consensus All-American with 12.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles-for-loss in 2015 for the national runner-ups, Lawson is projected to be drafted somewhere between picks 10-20.
That means he could be an option for the Chicago Bears at No. 11, or even later in the first-round. Lawson made a pre-draft visit to Chicago on April 11.
“Chicago was great,” Lawson said. “Nice city ... I enjoyed it a lot. It was fun going to Chicago and meeting all the coaches and the general manager. I knew some guys who played up there and some guys who are on the current team now.”
The question now becomes fit. Listed at 6-foot-3, 269 pounds, Lawson split time rushing the quarterback out of a two-point stance and with his hand on the ground. Some think Lawson is better suited to play defensive end in a 4-3 defense, but his positional versatility also lends itself to the 3-4.
“I played outside linebacker rushing off the edge [at Clemson], but I can drop in coverage, too,” Lawson said. “We usually dropped into coverage four or five times throughout a game. I got half of my sacks standing up and the other half with my hand in the dirt. I feel comfortable playing either or. I just want to affect the quarterback any way I can do it.”
Lawson, who grew up in Central, South Carolina, checks a lot of boxes. Most importantly, Lawson performed well at a big-time program against the nation’s top teams. He dominated Notre Dame’s star left tackle Ronnie Stanley (another projected first-round pick) in a regular season matchup versus the Irish last October -- seven tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss.
Lawson has universally received high marks in the character department. He turned down an offer to play collegiately at Tennessee in order to stay close to his siblings after their father passed away in car accident during Lawson’s junior year of high school.
I’m ready to move on and see different places,” Lawson said. “I had to stay at home because I had my brothers and sisters. That’s the only reason I stayed at Clemson. So I’m ready to move on and see something new and see something better.”
Besides the Bears, Lawson said he’s privately met with Detroit, Carolina, Dallas and San Francisco. The 49ers, in particular, sent general manager Trent Baalke to Clemson to conduct the private workout. It’s unknown if San Francisco would take Lawson at No. 7, but if the 49ers move back in the first round, Lawson could be a potential target.