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Cowboys Draft 2014: Scouting Demarcus Lawrence

Because there has been such a high correlation in recent years between the top collegians invited to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits and who the Cowboys end up drafting, its important to know as much as possible about these players. As a service to you BTB is providing a series of detailed scouting reports on each of these targets. Today the series continues with our look at Boise State Edge Rusher, Demarcus Lawrence

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Demarcus Lawrence

Position: Edge Rusher

School: Boise State

Height: 6’3"

Weight: 251 LBs

Games Studied: Oregon St, Wyoming, Nevada

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results. The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player's peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Pass Game:

When Demarcus Lawrence gets the opportunity to get on the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle, and pin his ears back and rush, he is an extremely disruptive player. In the three games I watched, I saw him get 6 sacks, (including 4 in one game vs Nevada), and numerous other pressures, including a hit on the Oregon St. QB that should have resulted in an interception. This kind of disruptive production is exactly what NFL teams are looking for. His rush abilities were limited by the Boise St. scheme to an extent where he often played as the DE on a 3-man line, that lined up in a 4i or 4 technique, and often slanted inside to the B gap. He was still disruptive there, but it was on the edge that he really shined.

He showed a variety of rush moves (inside and outside arm over, speed, power) and was consistently active with his hands in the rush, In fact many of the times he won with speed rushes included very good hand usage to create space. Lawrence showed the ability to sharpen the edge and get to the QB once he clears the tackle, bending low and pursuing QBs in multiple games that attempted to escape out the front side of the pocket.

If there was one thing I wish I could have seen more consistency in, it was seeing him convert his speed to power going after QBs. On one sack against fringe 1st-2nd round LOT Joel Bitonio from Nevada, he was able to get by his man, but when Bitonio recovered, and got his hands on Lawrence, the DE was still able to push his way back to the QB forcing him to go out the back door, allowing Lawrence to separate and make the play. As I’ll discuss below, there are times when you see him really load up and explode from his hips and lower body and deliver shock to an OL, but his pad level isn’t consistent enough at this point for that power conversion to be a man cog in his tool belt as it will need to be at the next level.

Run Game:

For the most part, Lawrence is about as disruptive versus the run as he is the pass, and when he plays with good pad level (as discussed above), he has the explosiveness to push an OT back and reset the LOS in his opponents back field. However, when he plays too high, and he fails to explode those gigantic hands into the blocker, he can get pushed back and washed out of the play. He has the ability to shed and tackle, although that is somewhat inconsistent at this point as well. Also showed good patience as the unblocked player versus the read option looks from Wyoming and Nevada. He is good, but not extremely quick or fast in pursuit from the back side, although he does show the motor to pursue and made several tackles from behind on draws and screens after peeling back on his rush.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Overall, Demarcus Lawrence is a very good player with a ton of pass rush upside. He looks much bigger than his 6’3" 251 lb measured size on the field, and is a broad shouldered, but long player. Although he surely has some things to clean up technique wise, I love his pass rush upside as a RDE in this scheme. I think Lawrence is a fringe first round guy, who could end up going anywhere from 25 to 50 depending on the direction that teams take. I would not be surprised to see him as an option should the Cowboys either trade back in the 1st, or as a trade up target early in the 2nd should they miss out on an edge player at 16.

Pro Comparison: Anthony Spencer, DE , Dallas Cowboys (2007 1st round pick, 26 overall)

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