NFL Draft Opening Round Should Have Clemson Flavor

Defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd out of Clemson will become the sixth and seventh Clemson defensive ends taken in the NFL Draft in the past seven years when the process gets underway Thursday evening in Chicago.

Lawson is projected by most experts to be taken between the 10th and 20th selections in the opening round. He had 25.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks this past season.

Dodd, whose impressive work during Clemson’s postseason raised his stock, is projected as a possible late first round pick. He finished with 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2015-16.

Cornerback Mackenzie Alexander, who was a stalwart in the Tigers secondary this past season, is also projected as a late first-rounder.  Alexander had no interceptions and only five passes broken up in 2015, although that could be credited to his status as a lockdown corner.

Several other players with ties to local schools are expected to be taken in the subsequent rounds Friday and Saturday.

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