Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft after an up-and-down career marred by injuries.
After a college career that saw both dominant performances and a rash of injuries, Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson announced he will be entering the 2017 NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season with the Tigers.
“My four years at Auburn has made me battle tested and molded me into the man I am today,” Lawson posted on Instagram. “Can’t thank the Fans enough for every tiger walk and every game. Please send prayers my way as I embark on this new journey to the NFL.”
The move is no surprise as Lawson is speculated to go somewhere in the first or second round, and has the potential to improve his stock at both Auburn’s pro day and the NFL Scouting Combine.
Lawson jumped onto the scene during his freshman season in 2013, recording four sacks and 20 tackles, with 7.5 coming for a loss, as the Tigers won the SEC Championship and made the BCS National Championship Game.
With big expectations for 2014, Lawson had a major setback after tearing his ACL during the summer. He missed all of the Tigers’ season after having surgery and being required to recover.
Lawson returned for the 2015 season opener against Louisville, making four tackles and one sack before ultimately suffering another injury, this time to his hip. He would miss the next six games before returning for the rest of the season on October 31 against Ole Miss, finishing the season with 17 tackles with three being for a loss.
In 2016, Lawson was part of a Tiger defense that was rejuvenated under new coordinator Kevin Steele, finishing No. 8 in the nation in scoring defense by allowing just 17.1 points per game. His contribution alongside fellow defensive linemen Marlon Davidson and Montravius Adams formed a front that was difficult to run against. Lawson finished with 30 total tackles and nine sacks.
The 6-foot-2, 257-pound Lawson, while playing on the line in college, is seen as a player that will transition to the linebacker position in the NFL due to his pass rushing ability and quickness on the edge.