Updated Jan. 5, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Since being a star recruit, Auburn edge rusher Carl Lawson has gotten a ton of hype. Lawson's college career was hampered by injuries for a few years before he had his best season as a junior. Some in the media have projected Lawson as a first-round pick, including ESPN, as their draft expert, Todd McShay, has Lawson rated 27th overall for the 2017 NFL Draft. WalterFootball.com reached out to survey NFL teams, and we've discovered that they are grading Lawson much lower. In surveying five teams, none of them had a first-round grade on Lawson.
Each team source independently described Lawson as being a very stiff pass-rusher with serious medical red flags in his draft report. Four teams said they had a third/fourth-round grade on Lawson. One said they could see a team taking him a little higher than that. Although one playoff general manager said he had a sixth-round grade on Lawson, he was planning on watching Lawson some more.
In his final season, Lawson had only 30 tackles, but did record nine sacks. The medical evaluation at the NFL Scouting Combine is going to be critical for Lawson. Each team said they had major concerns for his medical report and some thought there was the possibility that their medical staff could flunk him. In 2015, a serious hip injury cost him seven games. That was after he missed the entire 2014 season after ACL surgery. While the media has hyped him as a first-round, Lawson having a slide in the 2017 NFL Draft is definitely possible.