Carl Lawson, a Milton High School graduate, was named to the NFL's All-Rookie team after getting 8.5 sacks for the Bengals.
Photo: Dylan Buell, Getty Images
Photo: Dylan Buell, Getty Images

North Fulton native named to NFL All-Rookie Team

As a fourth-round draft pick, expectations weren’t too high for Carl Lawson.

The Cincinnati Bengals would’ve been happy if the 6-foot-2 defensive end came up with a few key tackles and developed his skills a bit. Instead, he turned into one of the Bengals’ top pass rushers, and someone who can be an anchor on defense for years to come.

After tallying 8.5 sacks as a rookie, Lawson — a Milton high graduate — was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team, voted on by the Pro Football Writers of America.

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He led all rookies in sacks this season and also had 20 quarterback hits. What’s impressive about his sack total is he got that many while playing just 41 percent of defensive snaps this season, according to Football Outsiders.

Lawson appeared in all 16 games for the Bengals and started once. He was the only Bengal to make the PFWA All-Rookie team, and was also selected to ESPN’s All-Rookie team, compiled by football analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

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After graduating from Milton High, Lawson played his college football at Auburn, where he piled up 67 tackles, 14 sacks and 24 tackles-for-loss in 33 games for the Tigers.

The Bengals finished at 7-9, but won their final two games of the season.

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Six players to watch for Sunday. Ex-Georgia center David Andrews starts for the Patriots. New England had 428 total yards and 31 first downs Saturday. Former Georgia Tech offensive lineman Shaq Mason also starts for the Patriots. The Patriots' line did not allow a sack Saturday. Former UGA receiver Malcolm Mitchell is on the Patriots' injured reserve list. Mitchell might be activated and play this weekend. Eagles linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is a former Bulldog. Ellerbe started last weekend against the

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