Heading into the 2016 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker depth is a mixed bag of goods. James Harrison has yet to decide on his future with the team, or if he will follow Heath Miller into retirement. Jarvis Jones is a player who has taken time to develop and still hasn't been able to prove he is an every down starter. Bud Dupree showed some serious promise as a rookie in 2015, but is still considered to be very raw, and Arthur Moats is the veteran who can play both the right and left outside linebacker positions.
After those four players you have Anthony Chickillo who could be a spot player, but the team could use a dynamic edge rusher to help solidify the depth chart and show there is a plan in place when Harrison indeed calls it a career. This would be the main reason the Steelers sat down with Clemson edge rusher Shaq Lawson at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Lawson is a dynamic player who is used to playing in big games, as he played in the 2016 National Championship game, but many project Lawson to be a top-20 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. After a Junior season which saw Lawson tally 24.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, it was no shock he declared early for the NFL Draft.
Lawson's combine just solidified his spot as a top tier prospect with a 4.7 second 40-yard dash, all with a 6-foot 3-inch 269-pound frame. Nonetheless, many believe his height is an issue, while some consider it a strength as he has built in leverage to get around the corner and beat opposing tackles. Lawson has the versatility to play the DE/OLB position in both even and odd defensive fronts.
Most would assume Lawson will be long gone by the time the Steelers select at No. 25, but the team is doing their homework on a player they believe could help them if by chance they choose to trade up, or he falls into their laps in the back portion of the draft process.