When Chandler Jones hit the Hill in 2008, the expectations could not be higher. His brother Arthur dominated at SU, and was eventually taken in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. But it only took Chandler three years to make a name for himself at Syracuse.
After redshirting his freshman season and slowly developing in his sophomore year, Jones bursted on the scene in 2010. As a junior, he racked up 4.0 sacks and 57 tackles en route to an All-Big East Second Team selection.
The Endicott, NY native made first team all-conference honors despite missing five games with a lower body injury in his senior year. His 4.5 sacks and 58 tackles in limited action grabbed the attention of NFL scouts. The Patriots selected him 21st overall in the 2012 Draft.
While the shortened senior season was good enough for New England, Syracuse fans were robbed of nearly half of a senior season of one of the program’s legends. If Jones hadn’t gone down, he likely would have been higher on this list. The defensive lineman may have also landed higher on the list had his career come to a smoother finish. SU ended the 2011 season on a five game skid, and missed a bowl game.
But despite the collapse of 2011, Jones should still be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in program history, with one of the quickest first steps.