Dexter Lawrence is a mountain of a man and one hell of a football player. Standing at 6-foot-4-inches and weighing in just a smidge below 350-pounds, the New York Giants standout has quickly bullied his way into the conversation of being the NFL’s most promising young interior d-lineman.
However, with a new coach in town, one with ties to a previous organization who commonly uses players in multiple roles, could Lawrence potentially be taking his talents to the opposite side of the football in 2020?
Giants.com’s John Schmeelk recently discussed this exact possibility after a fan wrote in about Joe Judge’s potential innovative use of Lawrence as a short-yardage/red-zone fullback on offense.
While Schmeelk noted he wouldn’t hold his breath on Lawrence manning a role in the team’s backfield this season, he also refused to “put anything past Joe Judge’s creative mind,” adding he’s excited about the possibility.
I’m not going to lie to you, Michael, you have me intrigued and a little excited. Is it possible? Sure. Bill Belichick used linebacker Mike Vrabel as an offensive player near the goal line. He never, however, used Vince Wilfork, who would be the best comparison to Dexter Lawrence. I wouldn’t put anything past Joe Judge’s creative mind, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, either. With that said, if I was a linebacker and I saw that monster coming at me in the hole, I would think twice before trying to fill it.
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Dexter Lawrence the Running Back?
It’s not as farfetched as you might think. During his days at Clemson, after persistently pleading with his former head coach Dabo Sweeney to “let the big guys score,” Sweeney eventually obliged, in return birthing what the Tigers deemed the “Fridge Package”.
The package was of course inspired by William “Refrigerator” Perry, who helped glorify the big guy touchdown during his days with the Bears, notably crossing the goal line in Chicago’s Super Bowl XX victory.
Lawrence typically did the dirty work on offense, a role he’s accustomed to playing in the trenches on defense. The Giants’ rising sophomore served as the lead-back (fullback), for now, Miami Dolphins d-lineman Christian Wilkins.
However, when they opted to finally feed the big-man the rock, he ate, scoring a two-yard touchdown on his lone collegiate carry, which you can relive in all its glory in the clip below.
Last week Christian Wilkins got into the endzone. This week it was Dexter Lawrence’s turn!
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 3, 2018
The budding star is fresh off a brilliant rookie campaign in which he earned the highest overall Pro Football Focus grade (76.1) handed out to any 1st-year defensive tackle. That includes the likes of Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver and his former Clemson backfield-mate, Christian Wilkins, each of whom were drafted ahead of Lawrence.
Lawrence’s 2019 season was so promising, a current NFL GM and a former NFL Scout have gone on record already pegging the d-lineman as Big Blue’s 2nd-best player on their roster. The only player ahead of him? Running back Saquon Barkley, which is fitting, considering the two may just be sharing a backfield next season.