As the weekend came and passed, many were expecting at least one Syracuse player to be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. However, when the last name was read at the end of round seven, the Orange had no players called for the first time since 2008.
Syracuse’s two best players in the draft, offensive lineman Sean Hickey and safety Durrell Eskridge, are both very talented players. Eskridge even left SU early to declare for the draft. However, rather surprisingly, neither player was drafted through all seven rounds.
Luckily enough, Eskridge and Hickey, as well as a plethora of former Orange football players signed on with teams as undrafted free agents shortly after the draft concluded. Eskridge signed with the New York Jets, while Hickey snagged a deal with the New Orleans Saints.
Most Syracuse fans expected both Hickey and Eskridge to be drafted after the impressive careers they had at Syracuse. Eskridge was one of the only bright spots in the Syracuse secondary last season, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper even had the safety ranked as a top ten safety in the group. However, Kiper did feel that remaining in school for a fifth-year would have helped his draft stock in the future. The draft advisory board graded Eskridge out at a fifth round pick, and he was even invited to the NFL Combine.
In addition, Hickey was also thought to be a valuable talent. In his final three seasons, he started every game and was the next product in a long list of productive offensive lineman at SU. The New York Giants most recently selected offensive tackle Justin Pugh in the first round in 2013.
A handful of other former Syracuse players signed deals after the draft concluded, too. Former linebacker Dyshawn Davis signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, while linebacker Cameron Lynch signed on with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent. Both players were part of a stifling linebacking crew. In addition, former defensive lineman Eric Crume signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It is still rather surprising that neither Hickey nor Eskridge were drafted in any of the seven rounds of the draft. Fans expected at least one of the players to get their name called on the last day of the draft, anywhere between rounds four and seven. Nevertheless, the six former Syracuse players that have a chance to earn their way onto the roster in the coming weeks will have to open some eyes if they hope to be playing in the NFL this year.
Posted By: Jason Weingold