AUBURN, Ala. — Carl Lawson is the best NFL prospect on Auburn’s roster.
The defensive end hasn’t quite yet had that breakout season, due to injuries limiting him in 2015 and another forcing him to sit out the 2014 season, but he has changed the game for the Tigers when healthy.
Many experts believe Lawson will be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Rotoworld’s Josh Norris.
“This is a big season for Lawson, who was working his way back from injury in 2015,” Kiper wrote in his early draft projections. “The pass-rush potential is there, but so far, he’s better at pushing with power and controlling the blocker.”
Kiper lists Lawson as the No. 22 pick in his way-too-early draft projections, while Norris lists him much higher, at No. 4.
Lawson has totaled 37 tackles, including 10.5 for losses, in his career. He hasn’t been credited with a solo sack since his All-SEC freshman season in 2013, but had two assists in 2015, when a hip injury kept him out for the first half of the season.