The Cleveland Browns may have found themselves a player on their defensive line in Devaroe Lawrence,
So who is this guy Devaroe Lawrence, and what is he doing wreaking so much havoc in the other team’s backfield? Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former Auburn Tiger was absolutely dominant for the Cleveland Browns, with two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and three tackles overall.
The 6-foot-2 and 295-pound defensive lineman went undrafted in the 2017 draft. He wound up getting a shot with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. In 2018 the Saints traded him to the Browns for a lowly seventh round draft pick.
Usually, teams are against make trades for bottom-of-the-roster players because of the expectation that there will be talented players available after the rosters are cut down to the 53 player limit. So John Dorsey and his scouting staff evidently saw something they liked.
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Lawrence is not some casual pickup. He’s a player that was acquired using a draft pick that would have been over 90 percent likely to make the 53-player roster.
He wound up on the Browns’ practice squad that season and was re-signed for the 2019 season.
Lawrence has been tough all preseason. According to the eyeball test, he has become a very strong candidate to enter the rotation of defensive linemen.
Once considered a longshot to make the team, he now has a bit of an inside edge particularly after his performance in Week 3 of the Preseason.
To put it in perspective, he had 1.5 sacks his entire career at Auburn, but he had more than that in less than a half.
Generally, the defensive tackle position does not generate too many sacks. But Lawrence was also successful generating pressure against Washington, picking up yet another sack, as well as at Indianapolis.
It’s not crazy to suggest that he may be cutting into some of Larry Ogunjobi’s game snaps this year.
Of course, it’s only preseason and it’s fair to admonish ourselves to not get too excited over great performances in exhibition games.
Point well taken. But Devaroe Lawrence has done a lot to help his cause in the first three exhibition contests.