The Buffalo Bills selected Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson with the 19th overall pick in the NFL Draft Thursday night.
Lawson fills an immediate need, with the Bills having parted ways with Mario Williams right after the season. General Manager Doug Whaley said Lawson would start at outside linebacker opposite Jerry Hughes.
Lawson is a pass-rushing terror, leading the nation in 2015 with 25.5 tackles for loss, including 12.5 sacks. In 43 career games, he had 129 tackles, 46.5 tackles for loss, and 20 sacks.
Coach Rex Ryan isn't shy about his affinity for Clemson players. His son, Seth, is a member of the Tigers' football team. Before the Bills' first game against the New York Jets last season, Ryan showed up for one news conference wearing a Clemson helmet.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Lawson "will need shoulder surgery that sidelines him 4-6 months at some point, probably after next season, per sources."
However, Whaley said the shoulder injury wasn't a concern to the Bills.
Scouts view the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Lawson is exceptionally quick and athletic. They also see him as being strong at the point of attack, and using his hands well to separate from blockers.
Lawson also does a nice job against the run, showing excellent pursuit.