As Dexter Lawrence learns the NFL ropes during his first training camp with the Giants, he's doing so at a new position.
At Clemson, the future 17th overall pick mainly played either over the ball as a nose tackle, or as a one-technique defensive tackle when Clemson showed a 4-3 look. Throughout his early practices with the Giants, though, Lawrence has been used more often as a defensive end, lining up on the guards' outside shoulder in the three-technique.
It's certainly been an adjustment for the 6-foot-4, 342-pound Lawrence, but he's excited about the new opportunity.
"Just a little bit more space you can work with out there," Lawrence said about playing defensive end in the Giants' 3-4 look. "At Clemson, I was stuck inside a little bit, and now I get to play on the edge. I'm enjoying it a lot, all the different opportunities at the position."
Lawrence has still seen time at nose tackle as well, and he's hoping that this versatility allows him to be an every-down player in Big Blue's defense.
"That's kind of what my expectation is," Lawrence said when asked about playing three downs. "They're working me in in some base, and some dime and nickel, so that's where I expect to be used in all three downs.
"I was pretty much a three-down player (at Clemson), too. It's nothing new, just a new scheme that I have to learn. It's just all about regrouping, and just try and see where you can learn the defense a lot better to see where you can just play with the offensive line a little bit more."
Typically in a 3-4 look, defense ends are tasked more with reading and reacting to the run game and plugging the two gaps that they are responsible for, rather than attacking a single gap as a prolific pass rusher.
But Lawrence isn't interested in falling in line with other tackles or with any outside expectations of what he can be at the NFL level.
"I'm not everybody else in the league, I'm Dexter Lawrence II," said the rookie. "I'm different, I bring a different attitude to the game. That's kind of what this summer, well, this spring-that's what they called it, a summer event for me--just working on my pass rush, trying to be a three-down guy for the team, just to help win games."