Mon Adams and Carl Lawson Are Expected to Be the First Auburn Players Taken in the 2017 NFL Draft

A look at Auburn football players who hope to make NFL teams as draft picks or free agents is featured in this report.

Montravius Adams (above) is shown at Auburn's Pro Day.

Auburn, Ala.--A pair of defensive linemen, tackle Montravius Adams and end Carl Lawson, are likely to be the first Auburn players selected in the 2017 National Football League Draft.

Beginning on Thursday at 7 p.m. CDT with the first round, selections in rounds two and three will start at 6 p.m. on Friday with rounds 4-7 set for Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Many projections have Lawson and Adams being candidates to be drafted on Friday night.

An All-SEC pick as a senior and a second team All-American, Adams was a four-year contributor for the Tigers. He played in 52 games for the Tigers with 36 starts, including all 14 games as a senior when he made 26 solo tackles, 18 assists, 8 1/2 tackles for lost yardage, 4 1/2 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries. He blocked two kicks, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass.

A player who steadily improved during his time at Auburn, Adams credits his position coach, Rodney Garner, for helping make that happen. “I don’t feel like I could have got any more preparation, especially with me being with Coach G for four years,” he said.

Adams noted that he believes he developed a good work ethic during his time at Auburn. “I am trying to be the best I can be. As long as I keep doing that, I think I’ll be good. I have trained hard to get where I am and I think I have been doing all the right things.”

Lawson led the Tigers in tackles for loss in 2016 with 13 1/2, sacks with nine and in quarterback hurries with 24. He played in 34 games with 20 starts with 14 of those coming last season as a redshirt junior. He made 15 solo tackles with 15 assists in 2016.

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Carl Lawson is shown at the NFL Combine.

Lawson said he was pleased with how performed at the NFL?Combine. “I felt like I checked off a lot of boxes. I was No. 1 in two drills. I ran a pretty good 40. Certain teams had different times on me, but most important thing for me was making sure they knew I had really fast 10-yard split, which is pretty much the most important part for rushing the passer.”

Johnathan Ford was the third AU player to be invited to the NFL?Combine, but wasn’t physically able to do drills at that. However, he was a player who stood out on the field at Auburn and in his pro day with a sub 4.4 times in the 40-yard dash.

“I am back and I am ready to roll,” said Ford, who was a no-go for the Sugar Bowl due to a foot and ankle injury. 

As a senior the running back turned defensive back known to his teammates as "Rudy" finished fourth on the team in tackles with 38 solos and 21 assists despite missing one game and being less than full speed in some others due to injuries. He broke up seven passes playing the nickel position in 2016, recovered a fumble and was credited with 5 1/2 tackles for lost yardage.


Rudy Ford is shown running the 40-yard dash at Auburn's pro day.

Other Auburn defensive players hoping to make NFL rosters include defensive tackles Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain, cornerbacks Josh Holsey and T.J. Davis, linebacker T.J. Neal and cornerback/safety Marshall Taylor.

Offensive players also hoping to make NFL teams this year include linemen Alex KozanRobert Leff and Xavier Dampeer, receivers Marcus Davis and Tony Stevens  plus quarterback Jeremy Johnson.

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