Lawson selected #19 overall in 2016 NFL Draft

by - Assoc. Editor -
<span style="font-size:.7em">Kamil Krzaczynski / USATODAY</span>
Kamil Krzaczynski / USATODAY

Former Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson was drafted #19 overall by the Buffalo Bills during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday night. He is now the fifth Tiger to be part of the Bill organization in the last six years.

Lawson finished this past season with 86 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss (led the nation), 12.5 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries.

"This day right here has been five years since my dad was killed in a car accident," Lawson said to ESPN moments after being picked. "So this day is special for me. I've overcome a lot. I'm so happy right now."

Lawson was especially excited to be be picked by fellow Clemson fan and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

"I'm heading to Buffalo and heading to Rex Ryan and he is ALL-IN like we do at Clemson so it doesn't feel like I am going anywhere but another step in Buffalo."

"The shoulder was the concern," Mel Kiper said after Lawson's selection. "He was the 12th best player on my board. He waited patiently to become the guy. Vic Beasley moved on. You hope he is better than Vic Beasley, who is a disappointment with the Falcons. Shaq Lawson this past year was a dynamic outside pass rusher. He played with his hand on the ground. He played standing up. What I loved about him was his great eye discipline finding the football and the fact he played through injury. He had that knee injury against Oklahoma, tried to play against Alabama and had two sacks in that game. So I like the versatility. I like the effort."

"I thought Lawson played at too much of a weight," ESPN's Jon Gruden said moments after Lawson's selection. "He played at about 280. I think he needs to get down to 265, 260. I thought he ran out of stamina late in games. Look I like the player but I think he is going to have to learn to play on two feet which he did at Clemson, but he is going have to convert to an outside linebacker, pick up his stamina, and prove that he can whip some of the good tackles in the NFL."

He was named a consensus first-team All-American and was a finalist for the Hendricks Award, the Bednarik Award, and the Lombardi Award and the fourth player since 2011 to go from Daniel High School to Clemson to the NFL.

This makes the fourth straight year that Clemson has had a player drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.

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