Clemson DE prospects Lawson, Dodd accept invites to attend NFL Draft

Shaq Lawson, back, and Kevin Dodd run drills at Clemson's NFL football Pro Day Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

CLEMSON – For the first time, Clemson will send multiple NFL Draft prospects to the green room in the same year.

Former Clemson defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd have each accepted invitations to join the draft hopefuls April 28 in Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft, as announced by NFL Network Tuesday night.

The number of prospects invited to the green room has gone up dramatically in recent years. Getting invited to the draft is not a guarantee of a first-round selection, but it does tend to reflect positively on the prospects. Last year, 21 of the 27 draft attendees – including another former Clemson defensive end, Vic Beasley – were picked in the first round, and five more were taken in the second round.

Lawson and Dodd combined for 48 tackles for a loss as bookends of Clemson’s defensive line last season, helping the Tigers reach the College Football Playoff national championship game. Both players have been projected as first- or second-round selections in mock drafts by various services.

They become Clemson’s sixth and seventh players to attend the draft as guests of the NFL. The last three were each drafted in the top ten of that year’s event: Beasley eighth to the Atlanta Falcons in 2015, receiver Sammy Watkins fourth to the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and tailback C.J. Spiller ninth to the Bills in 2010.

The first two Tigers to attend the draft were Chester McGlockton (1992, No. 16 overall, Los Angeles Raiders) and defensive end Gaines Adams (2007, fourth overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)