Cincinnati Bengals will 'expand' Carl Lawson's role after breakout rookie season

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cincinnati Bengals will 'expand' Carl Lawson's role after breakout rookie season

After an All-Rookie season, Carl Lawson will have an even bigger role for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018.

The former Auburn Buck end had 16 tackles with 8.5 sacks for the Bengals last season, most among rookies. Pro Football Focus credited Lawson with 59 total pressures (sacks, hits and hurries), also most among rookies.

"Carl's going to build on that," Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday. "We're going to expand his role as he goes forward; he'll be on the field a little bit more. Talking with coach (Teryl) Austin, he's excited to work with him. We've got a lot of regard for him. We think he's going to be a big-time player for us."

Carl Lawson 'a thief' when it comes to pass-rush moves

A fourth-round pick, Lawson proved to be one of the highest value selections in last year's draft as he played 477 of Cincinnati's 1,146 defensive snaps (41.6 percent).

Lawson's injury history was a deterrent for teams, but the Bengals "felt strongly" about him once day three of the draft arrived and he was still on the board.

"I think that if the draft were going to happen again he'd be selected much higher," Tobin said. "He came on for us in a big way. Last year we were low in quarterback pressures, so it was something that we went into the offseason to attack. We doubled up at the defensive end spot or the pass rusher spot and both of those young guys (Lawson and Jordan Willis) came in and gave us what we were looking for; they gave us a spark."

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

from Auburn Sports Impact

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