In last years NFL Draft, Carl Lawson was selected in the 4th round by the Bengals. It wasn’t easy and it took hard work. Lawson was once a Freshman All-American in 2013 with 7.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. The following spring Carl had a huge bump in the road by tearing his ACL and by the start of the 2014 season was sidelined with a hip injury. In the 2016 season Carl Lawson got back on track and was named to the first team All-SEC with 13.5 tackles for loss and 9 sacks.
As you can see when Carl Lawson is healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with. His draft status could have seen him in the 2nd round but with injures and specifically a hip injury to a young Defensive End lowers your draft position greatly. Nonetheless, the Bengals found yet another steal in Lawson. There was skeptics though asking “why are you drafting an edge rusher in a 4-3 defense to play linebacker?” Well as you can see by what he did his rookie season, the transition from Defensive End to strong side Linebacker was the right choice.
With his hip injury from years ago, his lower body strength isn’t as good as it could be due to NFL standards. His hips cant twist going up against these NFL vets. They put him at strong side linebacker and with his speed and his bull rush strength he was able to get 8.5 sacks (rookie franchise record is 9.5 sacks).
With the new Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin coming to Cincinnati , I only see more opportunity and more reps for Carl Lawson. Austin loves to blitz and he already mentioned he loves the mans speed and character. I would say predictions are 10+ sacks and 5 tackles for loss. He earned a starting position and i think Austin will give that to him.