Early on Friday night, the Dallas Cowboys made a move that will be talked about for years to come when discussing the 2014 NFL Draft. The Cowboys traded two valuable picks (#47 and #78) to the Washington Redskins to secure a pass rusher from Boise State. Were they impatient? Did they reach? Did they give up too much? All these things can be argued, but I believe the Cowboys stole Demarcus Lawrence in the second round on Friday night.
Today, I’m going to talk about the player and tell you what made Dallas trade up in the draft to get their pass rushing right defensive end. But first, it should be known that the Cowboys should feel very fortunate that he was even available in the second. In fact Demarcus Lawrence should probably be furious with Boise State University. The defensive scheme that was used when he played may have cost him millions of dollars and a definite spot in the first round. Had he been used in a similar way to Anthony Barr or Dee Ford, I’m convinced he would have been taken ahead of both of them. Lawrence was asked to be a “Four Technique.” And for people who don’t know what this means, It means that he lined up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. He was part of a 3-4 front that rarely let him rush the passer from the defensive end spot (or known as the 7 technique.) In Dallas, he will primarily be asked to rush from the end, which is a much better fit given his skill set.
As always, let’s first check out what kind of athlete Lawrence is and how he compares to a few pass-rushers in the NFL:
(click to enlarge)
Lawrence isn’t an amazing athlete and that worries me some, but he’s good enough that it probably won’t hurt his career. His long arms and first step help compensate for his lack of elite athleticism. He has extremely long arms for his height (nearly 34″ long) and that added length helps him mask some of his less-than-desirable physical traits.