It took until day three, but Syracuse football made a late splash in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Orange was in danger of going back to back years without an NFL Draft pick since the 1948 and 1949 drafts, but a late call on Saturday nixed that possibility. Here’s how it all shaped up this weekend.
Zaire Franklin, LB: Indianapolis Colts, Round 7 Pick 235
Franklin was the lone SU player selected in this year’s draft and the first since the Broncos took punter Riley Dixon in 2016. Most people thought Steve Ishmael would be the most likely to get drafted, but the Colts took a chance on Franklin. The senior blew away the competition at his pro day after not getting invited to the draft combine. He was the most consistent player on the Orange’s defense throughout his time at SU and was a great leader both on and off the field. Don’t be surprised if that work ethic and personality leads to a long NFL career.
Steve Ishmael, WR: Indianapolis Colts, Undrafted Free Agent
Ishmael is probably the most frustrated of this group. He seemed like a receiver that could have gone in the 5th or 6th round, but instead went undrafted. After a career year last season, he joins a Colts team with some talent on the outside in TY Hilton as well as a great quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. We’ll see if Ishmael can latch on with Franklin in Indy and if this serves as motivation moving forward.
Parris Bennett, LB: Green Bay Packers, Undrafted Free Agent
Bennett was another key piece to the Orange’s defense and probably couldn’t have wound up in a better situation. The Packers do a great job with finding linebackers in the draft and free agency and set them up for success in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Bennett turns into another one of those UDFA success stories thanks to the system he’s put in out in Green Bay.
Erv Philips, WR: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Undrafted Free Agent
The Orange’s all-time receptions leader also brings kick and punt returning skills to the table, which could be the difference between making a roster and getting cut this summer. Philips also has good speed and could work out of the slot with stud wideout Mike Evans on the outside.
Jamar McGloster, OL: San Francisco 49ers, Undrafted Free Agent
McGloster was a solid piece of an ever-changing Syracuse offensive line. It’ll be interesting to see how his career pans out.