AUBURN, Ala. — Any Auburn football fans wanting to see two of the Tigers’ biggest outgoing stars before they head to the NFL will get their chance.
On Wednesday, former Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, which will take place Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala. Earlier in the day, former Auburn offensive guard Alex Kozan landed on the East team for the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) January 11, 2017
Lawson and Kozan are the fifth and sixth outgoing Auburn players who will participate in postseason NFL draft showcase games.
Defensive tackle Montravius Adams and defensive back Rudy Ford will play in the Senior Bowl with Lawson. Wide receiver Tony Stevens is also on the Shrine Game roster with Kozan. Linebacker T.J. Neal is in the College Gridiron Showcase this week in Texas.
Although Lawson was a draft-eligible junior in 2016, he was in his fourth year at Auburn. He came into Auburn in the same senior class as Adams.
Many outlets project Lawson to be a mid-to-late first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft. He had 9.0 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and 24 quarterback hurries in the 2016 campaign after missing virtually a season and a half with various injuries in 2014 and 2015.
The Georgia native is part of one of the deepest edge-rusher draft classes in recent memory. Lawson is expected to go in the early rounds with other standouts such as Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, Tennessee’s Derek Barnett and Florida State’s Demarcus Walker.
Kozan, who missed a year of his own with an offseason back injury before reaching All-SEC status, is currently considered a fringe prospect for the draft. CBS Sports rates Kozan as the No. 18 offensive guard, which puts him in seventh round or undrafted free agent range. Walter Football ranks Kozan at No. 21 for his position.