Round 7 – Justin Lawler – Defensive End – SMU
Other than ridiculous power and a penchant to succeed beyond what many think, nothing about Justin Lawler says NFL starter. Don’t tell that to Lawler, who seems to continually surprise people. As a powerlifter, Lawler is a very strong kid and while he is not the fastest, tallest, or most technically proficient defensive end, he simply gets the job done.
Watching a few games of his, his power comes into play with the ease it seems he throws blockers off himself. If he wraps someone up, including a quarterback odds are they are going down. He has a good first step but is not a fast player. His motor easily makes up for this and he will never give up on a play.
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While his length leaves a lot to be desired and he doesn’t have a lot of pass rushing moves, he could find a role as a rotational player. Lawler is a local product and could sneak his way onto the field for rookie camp. This is the hardest area to pick as you want someone who can develop, but also not miss out on undrafted free agents. Lawler, being local, high motored, and being a perfect character guy could be the pick. Other names were linebackers Frank Ginda and Jason Cabinda.
Here is Lawler against Memphis. The play he makes at 1:30 is pure strength. Watching this game or any game his strength is what jumps out.