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Executives believe Carl Lawson is one of the NFL's most underrated players

Carl Lawson named one of NFL's most underrated players

CINCINNATI — Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson is hoping to stay healthy after missing 13 games over the past two seasons. The 25-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract. 

Lawson's NFL career got off to a promising start, as he compiled 8.5 sacks in 16 games as a rookie. 

Unfortunately, injuries have slowed him down. He tore his right ACL in 2018. He also dealt with a hamstring injury last season. 

Despite the injuries, the league holds the fourth-year player in high regard. Lawson was one of 11 players to make ESPN's most underrated team, which is voted on by NFL executives. 

"Many coaches in the AFC North are waiting for Lawson to put it all together -- and are nervous about him doing it," Jeremy Fowler wrote. "Lawson's modest 15.1% pass rush win rate won't exactly strike fear in opponents. But he's been dealing with injuries for much of his career, with hamstring and knee issues in 2018-19 and knee problems coming out of Auburn."

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Lawson is a freak athlete and keeps himself in great shape. He should have a big season if he can stay healthy.

"When we watch him on film, wow, he pops," an AFC offensive coach told Fowler. "Undersized player who's super physical and powerful."

The Bengals need their defensive line to be the strength of the team. Lawson has a high ceiling, but like many of the players on this roster, health is a huge question mark. 

Cincinnati selected Lawson in the fourth-round (116th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

For more on the Bengals, including the latest on training camp news, go here!