Pittsford, N.Y. — Shaq Lawson’s rookie year didn’t go as planned. After the Buffalo Bills drafted him in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Lawson quickly hurt his shoulder and required surgery. He missed all of training camp and the first six games of the season before trying to learn on the fly the rest of the way.
A year later, Lawson looks like he could be on the verge of a breakout season. He’s playing at 267 pounds and has leaned out his frame, replacing fat with muscle. He collected multiple sacks on Friday and looked just as impressive in the Bills’ first padded practice on Saturday. He’s healthy, in better shape and, most importantly, he’s far more comfortable in Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defense than he was in Rex Ryan’s 3-4. So much so that he admitted Saturday he’s not really sure why Ryan and Doug Whaley drafted him.
“Yeah that was kind of odd,” Lawson said. “It really was. I knew I wasn’t a fit for that defense. They thought I was. I just tried it out. I wasn’t very comfortable. This year I’m just so excited, because this is something I do and been doing. This is what we did at Clemson, same scheme, same everything.”
At the same time, Lawson was surprised he was still on the board when Buffalo was drafting.
“I feel like I was the best available on the board, so I feel like somebody had to pick me up,” Lawson said.
It may have all worked out, even though Ryan and Whaley didn’t have the right plan for Lawson. The former Clemson standout is fortunate he landed in McDermott’s scheme and can play alongside Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes.
“Oh yes sir, it’s been great,” Lawson…
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