The Bills signed someone!! Hooray! Too bad I don’t know anything about him. However, don’t worry. I won’t try to fake it like others will. I’m bringing in NFL Draft analyst and player evaluator for CincyJungle.com (SBNation’s Bengals blog), Joe Goodberry, to let me know what the deal is with Manny. Follow him @JoeGoodberry
1) What are his strengths and weaknesses?
He’s a good, sound run defender and tackler. Hugh character guy that fills a role on special teams. Biggest weakness is stiffness and not really having a pass rush move to lean on.
2) The Bills plan to run a hybrid defense with a lot of blitzing, how do you see him fitting into that type of defense?
He’s a good blitzer, but not a good pass rusher. There’s a difference; he times blitzes well and doesn’t waste opportunities to hit the QB. Just don’t ask him to break off of too many blocks. He gas experience in both common base defenses, so that was probably appealing.
3) The Bills LBs have always had issues covering RBs and TEs, do you think Lawson can help them in that regard? Also, is he better in a 3-4 or 4-3?
He’s equally effective in both schemes and has had some success covering right ends due to his size/length. Quicker players give him trouble in the open field. I’d much rather get him on Gronkowski than Hernandez.
4) What type of character is he? Anything you can add that fans wouldn’t know anything about?
He’s a quiet guy that plays through injuries and will help on special teams. Typical blue collar player.
5) After researching, I noticed that he had a decent 1st year with you guys, but lost playing time last year, what happened?
The Bengals don’t use the SAM LB much. They’re in Nickel for most of their plays and Lawson couldn’t get on the field as a pass rusher.
6) Is he better at rushing the passer or coverage?
Better in coverage, because he can cover a lot of ground. As a pass rusher, he’s just a guy.
7) For being a 1st round pick and going to his 3rd team in 4 years, it seems like he has a lot of potential from what I read, but it hasn’t exactly been reached. What does he need to be a breakout player for being a 1st round pick?
At this point, he’s tapped out. He’s always been an athlete over a football player. If he could gain 15-20 lbs. and learn some counter pass rush moves, maybe he could reach some of his vast potential. He’ll never fix his stiffness and today’s game is about lateral agility and explosion. That’s where Lawson gets left behind. Solid player and low level starter. Nothing more.