The New York Giants had two first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. With the first (sixth overall), they took quarterback Daniel Jones out of Duke. While this was definitely a position of need, it was also a highly questioned pick.
Their second pick in the first-round came at No. 17. With that selection, the Giants took defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson. This was much more universally accepted and raised far fewer questions.
Although Lawrence is a highly-touted prospect from the team that just won the College Football National Championship, not everything about him is common knowledge.
Therefore, we’re going to dig a little deeper.
Here are three things to know about New York Giants rookie defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.
3. PED Suspension
This is one that more people are probably familiar with, but it’s worth mentioning anyways.
Dexter Lawrence famously missed out on the National Championship game to due a failed PED test, testing positive for Ostarine.
This is important for the obvious reason of it’s risky to take a player with a history of PED use. However, this is also a tricky situation. As with any failed drug test there are a lot of questions. The players involved maintain their innocence while even Dabo Swinney himself has said it might have been the fault of the staff.
No matter what the truth in the situation is, this will always be in the back of the minds of many when it comes to Lawrence. Will he ever fail another test? How often will he be tested and will it cause problems for him?
Even if this was something most people knew, it was worth bringing up because it’s going to be part of the Dexter Lawrence story for the rest of time.
2. No. 2 Recruit in 2016
It probably doesn’t surprise anyone that Dexter Lawrence has always been a hot commodity.
It might be a little more surprising to know that he was the number two recruit coming out of high school in 2016 though.
That was the year there was a consensus number one recruit in Rashan Gary.
There are four major prospect rankings. In all four Gary was number one. However, Lawrence was never far behind. He was second for Scout, Rivals and 247Sports and was third for ESPN. That made him the almost unanimous number two prospect.
It definitely hasn’t hurt his stock that he was an extremely dominant presence at Clemson.
Lawrence proved that he was deserving of his place in the rankings and goes into the NFL with the New York Giants as one of the top prospects as well.
Being one of the top recruits coming out of high school wasn’t the only achievement for Dexter Lawrence. Far from it in fact.
With being one of the top recruits in high school, he was also a USA Today All-American in 2015. Then came the College accolades.
Lawrence was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, racking up 6.5 sacks for Clemson. This also earned him Second-Team All-ACC and he was part of their National Championship run – his first ring with the team.
Although his stats were down the next two years, Lawrence arguably had a bigger influence on the defense in 2017 and 2018. That’s why he was voted First-Team All-ACC in both of those years. 2018 of course ended with his second National Championship ring with Clemson.
Dexter Lawrence entered Clemson as an accomplished man and leaves with his shelves even more full.
The next challenge is the NFL, and based on how things have gone for him so far – he isn’t done adding to his résumé just yet.