We’ve talked a lot recently about the Orange in the NBA draft due to Malachi Richardson’s endeavors into the draft pool. But we haven’t taken the time to look at how some SU players may fair in the NFL draft, which starts tonight. But maybe we should. After a draft last year that did not include a single SU player, there is a chance two get selected this weekend.
Let’s focus first on everyone’s favorite specialist, Riley Dixon. While it may not come through the draft, he is likely to land with someone through training camp. Dixon is currently the 4th ranked punter according to CBSSports.com and 12th on the “specialists” list on NFL.com. He is certainly going to be under consideration for teams, especially as we move into the later rounds of Saturday, maybe in the 6-7 rounds.
The only other SU player to really get any kind of look is DE/OLB Ron Thompson. The converted TE is ranked 69th among Defensive Lineman on NFL.com. In reality it is more fair to put him in a group with “Edge Rushers” because that is the type of player Thompson would be. On CBSSports.com, Thompson ranks as the 21st Defensive End in the draft, a better indication of where he stands. While neither projection should scream great confidence for Thompson, CBS Sports does project him as a 6th rounder.
It will be interesting to see where Thompson lands considering he has only played 2 years on the defensive line and only one on the edge, but there seems to be talent there even if it does need to be molded into a better player.
Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager has the most ambitious projections for Thompson putting him in the 3rd round in his full 7-round mock draft released this week. In this scenario, Thompson would go to Denver with the 94th pick.
Either way, it should make for an interesting weekend of draft-watching as we wait and see where– or if– Thompson and Dixon get picked.
Posted By: Seth Goldberg