Prospect Preview: Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State

Darin Oswald/Idahostatesman.com

By Draft Lead Philip Arnold @PhilipArnold20

Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State

6-3 245 lbs. Junior.

48 Tackles, 13.5 TFL, 8.5 Sacks, 2 QBH, 4 FF. First Team All-MWC selection in 2012. Started 11 games during 2012. Led the Mountain West Conference in Sacks and TFLs. His sack total ranked him in the top 20 nationally, while his FF total ranked him sixth nationally.

Game Notes vs. Wyoming 7 Tackles, 2 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 Blocked Kick.

  • Boise uses Lawrence both as a stand up and hand in the ground Defensive End, though he only played to the field. Lawrence was used with his hand in the dirt 16 plays and as a stand up for 12 plays.
  • Against the run: Though Wyoming didn’t run the ball quite often, Lawrence was sound against it when they did put the rock on the ground. Lawrence does a good job of coming to control when unblocked on option plays. He does a good job of keeping balance and working down the line to force a pitch from QB Brett Smith. On down blocks from the Tackle, Lawrence did a good job of getting hands on and trailing it. Lawrence has a good initial pop and punch, then uses his hands to fight off blocks to find the ball and finish the play. Overall, Lawrence’s ability to not work too far up field and stay in the heart of the play was impressive.

    Lawrence Rush

    This picture is used to display Lawrence’s ability to setup offensive linemen. Here he will work to the upfield shoulder. Look at the lineman’s hips, they are now turned and Lawrence will change quickly to the inside.

  • Pass rush: Lawrence had decent burst out of his stance in this game. He used both a good bull rush and speed rush to attack offensive linemen. In his speed rush he did a good job of working up field and bending the edge at the end of the pocket. In his bull rush, Lawrence does a good job of using his hands to fight off the lineman. He does a good job of attacking the up field shoulder of the offensive tackle. Once the tackle has committed to him, he shows good change in direction to fight inside with his hands and get passed the tackle (Right).
  • Play that stood out: 1 down and 10 yards to go as Wyoming is driving towards the end of the first half. Like the description above, Lawrence shows off his ability to change directions while rushing the passer. Lawrence will attack the up field shoulder of Left Tackle, Josh Leonard. As Leonard turns his hips for the speed rush of Lawrence, he throws a punch and cuts inside of Leonard. Lawrence then rallies to Smith and records himself a sack. Lawrence displayed both his change of direction in his pass rush, along with his ability to use his hands to work off blocks of offensive linemen.

Game Notes vs. San Diego State 7 Tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 Sack.

  • Lawrence is only used this game with his hand in the ground at defensive end for the 4-3 defensive front of Boise State. Once again he only plays end to the field.
  • Against the run: In the run game, Lawrence played with good strength and good base the whole game. Lawrence shows tremendous ability to punch, extend and shed. He gets off blocks quickly and makes plays in the backfield throughout the game. Like last game, Lawrence does a good job getting hands on down blocks and waiting for something coming back to him, not taken out of the play. Lawrence shows great upper body strength and physicality on backside plays. He does a good job of using his leverage to get push and collapse running and cutback lanes for ball carriers. Lawrence also highlights his physicality and strength when he often throws linemen after his initial extend. He is good at forcing linemen off balance with an physical pop and extend then using his strength to throw them to the side.
  • Pass Rush: Like it was stated earlier, Lawrence is very good at setting up offensive linemen and changing directions to work past them. Last game he showed his ability to do it outside in, while against San Diego State Lawrence showed it both inside and out. Lawrence also highlighted his athletic ability as an edge rusher when San Diego State attempted to cut him. Though Lawrence showed ability to dip the shoulder and bend the edge, he struggled with consistency.
  • Play that stood out: 3rd down and 1 yard to go, later in the first quarter. Left Tackle, Bryce Quigley, will down block and then hinge towards Lawrence on a power opposite of Lawrence. Lawrence sees the away action and pursues right into Quigley. Lawrence then punches quickly, forcing Quigley off balance. Once Lawrence has defeated Quigley, he makes a vicious TFL in the backfield. From a defensive linemen, this is one of the most athletic plays I saw the whole football season.

What Lawrence does well

Demarcus Lawrence is a physical and athletic defensive end. Lawrence is listed as 6’3″ but doesn’t play high and keeps good base. He has long arms and uses them to extend fully on blockers, setting up his shed. Against the run, Lawrence plays with good balance and is a good reader. He finds the ball once engaged and fights off to make plays in relevant space. He has a physical first pop and uses his strength to collapse running lanes. Lawrence does a great job using his hands in a quick fashion to defeat blockers. He has also shown the strength to just throw blockers right off of him. In his pass rush, Lawrence is very talented at setting linemen up.

What Lawrence needs to improve

The biggest area Lawrence needs to improve upon in the 2013 season is consistency in his pass rush. Lawrence has shown the ability to burst out of his stance, but doesn’t show it on a consistent basis. When Lawrence’s pass rush isn’t working it’s usually because he doesn’t get a good jump off the football. Lawrence has also shown  in his speed rush that he can dip his shoulder and bend the edge, though it’s the consistency he lacks. At times, Lawrence works up field, but gets washed because he is standing tall and cant get his shoulder dipped. Though Lawrence has shown the strength to throw blockers off of him, I’m afraid this should not always be his go to move. Against top tier, more polished stronger linemen, Lawrence will most likely have a harder time bullying them around as he did against some of the Mountain West competition.

Top Matchups

8/31 at Washington

9/20 at Fresno St.

11/23 at. San Diego St.

11/30 vs. New Mexico

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