In the 10th grade, I weighed 190 pounds. I somehow played defensive tackle for a couple of years at the college level. Dexter Lawrence just finished the 10th grade and weighs 290. I think he might be better suited to play defensive tackle at the college level than I was.
Lawrence is massive young man that already flashes the ability to be an interior pass rusher and clog the middle against the run. It’s scary how good the Wake Forest, North Carolina native is going to be once he gets to the next level.
Lawrence is already big enough to play at the college level now and has the frame to easily get over 300 pounds. He has great length for an interior lineman. He moves well for a player his size and flashes good quickness.
Even as a sophomore, Lawrence was able to dominate with his size and strength. Was much more explosive as a junior. He can be disruptive in the backfield when he attacks half of his man and controls his gap well. He’s very strong at the point of attack and holds up very well against the double team.
His pad level was much better as a junior. Got consistently lower than when he was a sophomore and was even more dominant. When his pad level is low, no one can handle him at the high school level.
He has a strong punch off the ball on occasion, but doesn’t always bring his hands. Adding violence to his hands on a consistent basis will him help him a lot because of the advantages that come with his length. When he does punch, he is able to create separation and shed to the football much easier.
It seems like the simplest thing, but so few players do what he does really well right now and that’s rip and run while attacking half of the man as a pass rusher. That puts him ahead of the game compared to a lot of others who simply bull rush their opponents. He can be even better once he develops his hands more as a pass rusher. He does a great job of attacking the quarterbacks arm when he is throwing and is able to get his hands to tip the football a lot because of this.
Lawrence’s best fit is as a one technique in a 4-3 defense.
There is no doubt that Lawrence has the potential to be an impact player at defensive tackle at the next level. He’s similar to Notre Dame’s nose tackle Jarron Jones with his height and length, but is far more advanced that Jones was at this age. He has the chance to develop into a disruptive interior player for multiple seasons at the college level.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.