Orange Fizz


Syracuse Just Ain’t Producing NFL Stock

Posted: Mike Couzens

(Editor’s Note: Mike Williams was selected in the 4th round by Tampa Bay, Arthur Jones in the 5th by Baltimore. The analysis on Williams: “The Bucs take a flyer on Williams. The enigmatic playmaker from Syracuse has outstanding ability, but he had a series of off-field incidents that raised concerns about his character. However, if he is able to avoid trouble and play to his potential on the field, he could give the Bucs an explosive weapon in the passing game.”

On Jones: “He had a second-round grade heading into his senior year, but had a knee injury in early November, followed by surgery. His draft stock plummeted, but, when healthy, he’s a very talented up-field pass rusher that will give the Ravens yet another option on defense.”

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Ok, so Opening Night was a bust. But who’s excited for leftover second and third-round action?

Round One of the NFL Draft played out in primetime last night without any Syracuse player taken. However, with Rounds 2 and 3 tonight, we may finally see an Orange name flash across the screen.

Art Jones has been the best defensive player for the ‘Cuse for years now and once this draft is over, he¬†expects to be with an NFL team.

For Mike Williams, he‚Äôs hoping someone‚Äôs¬†got the guts to take him. “I tell my mom every day that I’m going to be the steal of this draft.”

(Editor’s Note: Oy. “Steal” and “Mike Williams” need to avoid being used in the same sentence.)

And for¬†Greg Paulus, let‚Äôs just say having a Plan B and Plan C would be a good idea. Any report that starts off¬†telling us, ‚ÄúAlthough his stats aren‚Äôt good…‚Äù should say it all.

Over the past several years, the Syracuse draft classes have been about two players per season. In 2009,Tony Fiammetta and Ryan Durand went to the Panthers and Titans respectively.

In 2008, the Orange sent zero players to the league. Ouch.

The year before saw Tanard Jackson go to the Bucs and Kelvin Smith to the Dolphins. In 2006, four players from Syracuse were selected.

There’s lots of speculation as to where Jones could end up. He’s been slotted with the Chargers, Giants, Bengals, Colts and possibly the Eagles. He’s a defensive lineman at 6-3” and 300 lbs, but positions and weight can change in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs drafted LSU’s Glenn Dorsey two years ago as a defensive tackle, but he switched to defensive end in a new system and is similar in size to Jones.

One NFL GM talked about the¬†character concerns facing Mike Williams. “Each NFL team has different tolerance levels for character risk, so each team will consider the risk/reward involved in each pick. Bottom line: The player must have enough talent or value for the team to assume the risk.”

So is the risk enough? We’ll know by the end of tomorrow when the draft is wrapped up.

And at that point we might see Greg Paulus breaking down the draft on TV if we’re lucky.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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