Shaq Lawson was a total beast in 2015 at Clemson his junior year when he had 12.5 sacks and an astounding 24.5 tackles for losses. That season was so good he chose to forego his senior season and enter the 2016 draft where he was drafted 19th overall by the Buffalo Bills.
Since then things on the field have just not worked out for Lawson. He’s been more bust than beast in Buffalo. Bills head coach Sean McDermott said recently that Lawson needs to step up this off-season and GM Brandon Beane said in a Q&A with The Athletic that training camp will tell a lot about where Lawson’s career in Buffalo is heading.
They have both made it clear that it’s time to do better in Buffalo or he will be let go. And Lawson feels like they are shopping him.
”Shoot, I’ve been on the trading block I feel like,” Lawson told The Athletic. “I’ve just been seeing it. Yeah, it’s been a wake-up call. I’ve been hearing trade rumors and then I kind of realized, ‘I’m a first-round pick, third year now. It’s time to wake up.’ I know I’m a good player. I just have to put it all together and be not just a talented player but a talented player who works hard and works on his craft and skill all together.”
This begs the question, should the Raiders be interested in such a trade?
The Bills have already sent several high draft picks away in trade in the past couple of years while Beane has been the GM including former 1st round picks Marcel Dareus, Sammy Watkins, and 2nd round pick Reggie Ragland.
Watkins and Dareus especially were much more productive than Lawson has been and were jettisoned, so one would think there could be an opportunity here to snag him away from the Bills if the Raiders were interested.
The production has not been there for Shaq Lawson in his NFL career with only 6.0 sacks in his 24 games that he has played so far. Though Lawson has under performed in Buffalo, he has also been battling injuries. He got hurt in May prior to his rookie season and was out for months recovering from shoulder surgery. Then last season he ended the year on IR with an ankle injury.
The Bills are still giving him the chance to prove he deserves a roster spot in Buffalo, but this might just be a great time to steal an under producing player who is finally waking up to his potential. The Raiders have been very active in addressing their defensive line this off-season, this could be a chance to add another potentially talented pass rusher.
Bruce Irvin would still be the starter at DE opposite Khalil Mack, Lawson could be a valuable piece to add as depth. At just 24 years old if he started to play to his potential he could be a long term solution for the Raiders pass rush needs as well.
If the Bills are willing to give Lawson up for mid-low round compensation, it could be worth looking into. What do you think?
Should the Raiders consider a trade for Shaq Lawson?
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