2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Carl Lawson

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Carl Lawson. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Carl Lawson. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs are showing some clear interest in getting a pass rusher. Carl Lawson of Auburn could be the perfect fit.

There is no doubt that the Kansas City Chiefs were disappointed in their pass rush in 2016. A lot of things went wrong, but it is clear that the Chiefs don’t intend to let that happen again. KC scouts and personnel have met with a lot of top pass rusher. Carl Lawson of Auburn could be the guy they target.

It is a bit surprising that the Chiefs might be in this position. Just a couple seasons ago, the KC pass rush was among the best in the NFL. However, age has caught up to Tamba Hali while Justin Houston has dealt with injuries. Unfortunately, 2014 first round pick Dee Ford has not lived up to his draft position.

Outside of a five game stretch this past season, Dee Ford has been far too quiet as a pass rusher. When combined with the age and injury concerns regarding Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, it has severely limited the Chiefs pass rush as a whole.

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The  Kansas City Chiefs need to be looking for an answer at outside linebacker. A strong pass rush is often capable of hiding other issues in the defense. That’s not to say the Chiefs have many issues on defense, but having the ability to harass the quarterback is still important.

Carl Lawson – EDGE – Auburn

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When the Kansas City Chiefs first scouted Dee Ford, there is no way they could have missed the talent of Carl Lawson. The Auburn pass rusher was an early standout. However, injuries would keep Lawson off the field over the next two seasons, allowing people to forget about him. Lawson finally got a chance to get back on the field this year, and excelled.

Carl Lawson is a physical pass rusher who uses his strength to set the edge and power over blockers. Uses his hands well to fight off blockers. Has a nose for the ball carrier and plays aggressively. Very explosive out of his stance.

The injuries that Carl Lawson suffered over the past few years have clearly hampered his development. Moves stiff, especially in his hips, which limits his lateral agility. Doesn’t show the bend to turn tightly around the corner to get after the quarterback. Lawson also hasn’t had the opportunity to develop an array of pass rushing moves.

I like the fit of Carl Lawson in Kansas City. I think his power coming off of the right side would match well with Justin Houston coming from the left. I’m also willing to bet that Lawson will look much more limber having had a full season to get back into football. He is one of my top choices as a potential steal in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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It may be a bit surprising that the Kansas City Chiefs are in the market for a pass rusher. However, there is little doubt that they are in the market. It appears the Chiefs are intent on taking one early on in the draft. Fortunately this is a great year to be looking for someone to get after the opposing quarterback.