NFL Draft Player Profile 2013: Cameron Lawrence
I will admit I have never heard of this kid until a few days ago, but since I found him I have liked everything I’ve seen him do. He is a respectable man on and off the field, but for some reason is greatly overlooked my most in the realm of the NFL Draft. As an All-SEC selection his junior year and a 2nd Team All-SEC selection it is hard to understand why Cameron Lawrence is flying so low under the radar.
Cameron Lawrence, OLB, Mississippi State
Weight: 239 lbs
Cameron Lawrence was an All-SEC player as a junior and a 2nd Team All-SEC player as a senior. His career stat line is as follows: 291 tackles, 7 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 3 fumble recoveries. He has more tackles and interceptions as a two year starter than Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, Arthur Brown , and Kevin Minter. He also has more sacks than all of those names besides Jarvis Jones. So why is he so overlooked? Mississippi couldn’t win in the big games they needed to. Unless you are a superstar in the sacks or turnover columns your team needs to have some big wins to get the recognition of being a solid all around player.
Their is not much publicly available film on Lawrence, but this is the best I found to show you.
The obvious strength of Lawrence is his ability to tackle. He misses very few tackles and wraps up the ball carrier at all times. His ability to shed blocks is much better than I expected for a linebacker in the 230 range. This also contributes to the high amount of tackles he has per season. Lawrence is also pretty good in coverage and doesn’t usually fall for the play action. His ability to cover will allow him to play all three downs in the NFL. He scrapes and fills on the line extremely well, and will meet a fullback in the whole and still make the play. Takes good and precise angles in pursuit to the ball carrier.
The greatest weakness Lawrence has is he doesn’t have great speed. He runs in the 4.75 40 range, but his game speed is much faster when you look at him on tape. He could also add on a little more bulk to help take on the next level of linemen and fullbacks in the NFL. Is able to handle man coverage out of the backfield, but may have a more difficult time against the more athletic tight ends at the next level.
Over Cameron Lawrence is a poor man’s Brian Cushing to me. He doesn’t have the same frame as Cushing, but he does know what he has to work with and uses it very well. Lawrence could be and absolute steal in rounds 5 or 6 for a team looking for a strong side linebacker. In my eyes the worst case scenario for Lawrence in the NFL is a outstanding special teams player. With his work ethic and natural ability Lawrence could be a great strong side linebacker in the NFL.
Fit for Miami:
Miami needs to add depth to the linebacker position this off season. I personally am still on the fence about Koa Misi. He has never really been anything more than serviceable, and I don't see him ever becoming more than that. So then why not bring one of the best tacklers in college football in to let him compete for a spot, or at least add a sure tackler to special teams? I believe Cameron Lawrence can be a starter in the NFL in a season or two.