One of the top pass rushers becoming available for the 2016 NFL Draft, Clemson’s Shaq Lawson was reportedly flagged by the medical teams at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Per Albert Breer of NFL Network, it’s Lawson’s shoulder that is being called into question. He will now head back to Indianapolis before the draft in late April for a medical recheck.
If everything checks out fine, then Lawson should likely be one of the top defenders taken in Round 1 of the draft in Chicago.
In his first full year as a starter, Lawson picked up 12.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage at Clemson. He showed outstanding burst and strength on the edge, and his numbers at the Combine did nothing to discourage the notion he’s a physical freak.
His 4.70-second 40-yard dash was impressive, but even more than that was the 4.21-second 20-yard shuttle, which measures explosiveness and quickness.
In a year in which potential long-term pass rushers aren’t a loaded bunch, Lawson stands out.
However, if his shoulder is flagged again during the recheck, then Lawson might see his stock slip a bit.
Teams investing in a top draft pick need that player to produce not only immediately but for the long term. In both cases, depending on what type of injury or issue doctors saw during his medical check, he might not be able to fit that need.
Needless to say, Lawson’s shoulder could end up costing him a pretty penny, as NFL rookie salaries drop precipitously the farther you fall in the first round.