You know what’s funny? Around this site, Carl Lawson might be the most popular name for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first round pick. But in all these mock drafts we’ve passed along, not one of them have had Lawson as the guy. Until today.
Sporting News’ ran a new mock draft today with Lawson going to the Steelers with the 30th overall pick. They wrote:
“Lawson recently said that he doesn’t believe he’ll be available by the second round, and this came after an impressive Pro Day NFL scout representation that included Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers do need pass rushers.”
The Steelers went all-out at Auburn’s Pro Day, bringing Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin, and Joey Porter to watch Lawson. After a good showing at the Combine, Lawson stood on all of his numbers and only took place in drills. As Sporting News’ indicates, Lawson told reporters after his workout he doesn’t think he’s getting out of the first round and Pittsburgh would be perhaps the most logical landing spot in the draft.
Returning from injury-plagued 2014 and 2015 seasons, he came on strong last season. He finished the year with 14 TFL and 9.5 sacks and a forced fumble for good measure. The Steelers obviously have a history of drafting SEC pass rushers in the first round, Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree come to mind, and you have to figure Lawson is near the top of the Steelers’ big board. EDGE rusher is the team’s biggest need and Lawson will compete with the likes of Charles Harris, Derek Rivers, and T.J. Watt in that range.
If you’re curious, Jordan Willis and Harris are off the board ahead of Pittsburgh in this mock. Haason Reddick curiously fell to the second round, selected 33rd overall.
If you missed or are yearning for a refresher, here’s our scouting report on Lawson.