BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Repairing a defense that has lost some of its muster since last season was a top priority in the Buffalo Bills draft war room, leading the team to pick defensive end Shaq Lawson with the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The pick comes just months after the team parted ways with Defensive End Mario Williams, who waned in production in his last season with the team’s once-sack-leading defense. With Lawson, a former Clemson Tiger, on the team, the Defense could get a lot toothier.
Lawson, whose father died when he was a child in a car crash, said he’s excited to go to the Buffalo Bills and sees himself fitting into the defense. He said he’s honoring his father by making it into the elite club that is the NFL.
“This day is special for me,” Lawson said in a brief interview immediately after he received his first Bills gear.
One of the key drawbacks on selecting Lawson is a shoulder surgery the player must have within his near playing future that will sideline him for at least six months. In a brief statement immediately following the draft pick, Whaley said team doctors evaluated Lawson’s shoulder and said he would be fine in his first year of playing.
The surgery would likely follow Lawson’s first season on the team and sideline him for some of his first off-season.
Lawson will be the second Bills defensive player on the active roster with the name. Manny Lawson fits in well with defensive-minded Head Coach Rex Ryan’s scheme.