New York Jets edge rusher Carl Lawson possesses the strengths needed to make the team’s pass-rushing unit whole.
Some New York Jets fans wonder aloud why their team hasn’t fielded a legitimate pass rush in decades. On paper, it doesn’t make much sense.
Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams and even run-stuffer Damon Harrison should have at least done a little damage in 2015. Just glancing at the names provided a reason for excitement and optimism.
Unfortunately for the Jets’ pass-rushing stature that year and the seasons to follow, names alone don’t get it done. A football team’s four-man conventional rush needs to feature the right mix of players—not names.
An actual edge presence was needed to balance out the interior strengths the 2015 team showcased. Todd Bowles didn’t have it then, but Robert Saleh may have it now.
Carl Lawson, the Jets’ first legitimate edge-rushing presence since John Abraham, is the guy who completes this unit and the man of the moment.
Lawson, 25, is as young as it gets for an unrestricted free agent coming off a four-year rookie deal. Joe Douglas scooped him up in the hopes he can be the guy the franchise has needed on the outside for a decade and a half.
The question is this: What exactly are those strengths he brings to the table?
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Lawson’s pass-rushing game is a smart one. He’s intelligent in how he attacks tackles—usually the left tackle—and he’s also solid in his overall technique.
The former Cincinnati Bengal may not have the longest arms in the world, but he’s compact, usually shows tremendous burst, and is always great with the get-off.
Blewett’s Blitz dives into Carl Lawson’s strengths and weaknesses in the attempt to find out exactly how the kid’s positives will round out the New York Jets four-man pass rush.
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