By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald contributor
Let’s face it. When you’ve won two games in 11 tries not much is going right. You’ve got deficiencies everywhere. Cincinnati has been heavily criticized, especially in the past few years, for making bad draft choices. One place that looks as if they made a solid choice was choosing Carl Lawson. Lawson was drafted in the fourth round in the 2017 draft for Cincinnati.
Success didn’t come instantly for the Auburn product. Lawson had to wait his turn behind veteran Carlos Dunlap. Lawson also battled several injuries that had him missing substantial time thus far in his career. In his rookie season of 2017, the Alpharetta, Georgia, native had only one start and played primarily on third down passing situations. He made the most of it by accumulating 8.5 sacks leading all rookies.
Earlier this season, veteran Carlos Dunlap and the Bengals fell out on the veteran’s decreasing playing time. The situation ultimately became so toxic that Dunlap was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. This paved the way for Lawson to showcase his full talents nearly every down and be vaulted into the Bengals starting lineup. He has not disappointed, as Lawson has 4.5 sacks thus far this season along with a host of quarterback pressures and hits.
Part of the way into the 2018 season, Lawson was challenged. He tore his ACL, ending the balance of the season. It was the second time in his career he would tear his ACL. Some wondered if he would be the terror on the end with the explosiveness he displayed before suffering the injury. He proved last season in 2019 he could come back just as strong, if not stronger. In 12 games in 2019 Lawson recorded 5 sacks and 23 tackles. The core pieces, such as Lawson, that the Bengals have put together show good promise. However, it has in now way resulted in wins.
After this past weekends 19-17 loss to the New York Giants, Cincinnati has now solidified its fifth straight losing season after making five straight playoff appearances.
For the 25-year-old Auburn product the future looks bright. Lawson was use to winning at Auburn. In Cincinnati he has never been part of a winning culture or winning team. When will that happen?..Who knows. One thing that’s for sure is Carl Lawson will be doing his part as he has since coming into the league in 2017.