With the 17th pick in the Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select defensive end Shaq Lawson. Nrs001 is the acting general manager of the Falcons. Below is the rationale for the pick.
I was quite pleased to see Lawson fall into my lap. I strongly considered Darron Lee and Cody Whitehair, but Lawson fits too perfectly. One of the most dire needs in Atlanta is for a pass rush. Atlanta totaled 19 sacks as a team, last in the league. Even though they drafted former Clemson teammate Vic Beasley last year, they need someone else to provide a rush on the other side. This is why Shaq Lawson will provide an immediate impact in Atlanta.
Lawson has long arms to push off blocks and can help set the edge. Lawson racked up 12.5 sacks last season and can really help bolster Quinn's 4-3 under scheme. Many argue that Lawson's sacks were a result of Dodd providing pressure from the other side, but Lawson can generate a lot of power and a nice spin move that can allow him to slip past blockers. The biggest knocks against him are his stiff hips and he fatigued easily. I feel Atlanta can remedy these issues once he is in house. His rush defense is highly regarded. Between him and Beasley someone is going to break loose and provide pressure on the quarterback. Lawson fits nicely into the Atlanta defense that faces some talented quarterbacks in their own division. Atlanta is very happy to have Lawson fall into the 17th spot. Overall, Lawson is a culmination of need meeting availability.
Check out our 2016 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.