Every year it seems like we are looking at whether the Orange has anything to gain from either the NFL or NBA drafts. Often, there is some good that comes out of the draft for the Orange, whether it is the draft buzz surrounding Ryan Nassib or Tyler Ennis getting picked in the first round of the NBA Draft. But this year’s NFL draft feels different.
There is no buzz around Nassib or a first round pick in Justin Pugh. There just isn’t a feeling that any SU player will be taken before Saturday when rounds 4 and 5 take place. Sean Hickey and Durrell Eskridge are likely to be the only Syracuse guys drafted, but it is unsure what kind of impact either will have on the NFL level.
Here’s the thing, the Orange is basically sitting out the draft this year, but SU needs to get back in the position where at least one prospect has some buzz each year. With the potential for higher profile recruits coming to SU, the program and coaching staff need to prove they can get players ready for the next level and move them on to the NFL. While it is great to get players drafted, 4th and 5th round picks aren’t going to get recruits excited about their NFL prospects.
It is very important for future recruiting to consistently have a Syracuse presence in the top 3 rounds. Those are the rounds that get more coverage in primetime, and in reality, the players chosen are the ones who are towards the top of NFL depth charts and making a difference week in and week out. Players in the top 3 rounds are also more familiar to football fans than those chosen in the 4-7 rounds.
As a form of credibility with future recruits, Syracuse needs to start producing these kinds of players on a regular basis, even if it is just one or two that can get into the top 3 rounds. Then it is great to have the other players to supplement them going in rounds 4-7.
Posted By: Seth Goldberg