Former Auburn DE Carl Lawson picked up an impressive 9.5 sacks during the 2016 season, but still found himself waiting until Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft to hear his name called.
The ex-Tiger was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round, falling so far in part due to concerns about his lack of size.
However, according to the Springfield News-Sun, the Bengals are going to try to get the most out of the talented pass rusher by adding some new skills to his arsenal at the linebacker position:
“We’re going to use him in both areas,” Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “Right now he’s working half as a linebacker and half as an end in nickel situations. I’ve always said the more you can do the better.
“(His intelligence) is very key. It’s one of the factors why we took him. A guy who can’t understand football concepts can’t do the things we’re going to ask him to do.”
What the Bengals are going to ask him to do, in addition to rushing the passer, is cover an occasional tight end or running back out of the backfield on passing downs.
If he can adjust to his new role quickly, he could be one of the steals of this year’s draft.