Do you know how many former football players from Central New York and Syracuse University are now playing in the NFL? Linebacker Chandler Jones, linebacker Zaire Franklin and punter Riley Dixon are all former Orange currently playing in the NFL this season. Alton Robinson is in his second season with the Seahawks, while Justin Pugh is returning to the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals.
Let’s take a look at each player and their progress so far this season. Many of these players have become popular among European viewers. Europeans can place bets on many European casinos with bookmakers, like those you can find here.
Riley Dixon, Los Angeles Rams, P
Riley Dixon, who previously played for the Giants the previous four seasons, beat out Cameron Dicker to become the Rams’ new punter this season.
Dixon played quarterback in high school before kicking, which has allowed for some interesting moments. In 2014’s Syracuse season-opener, he threw a game-winning touchdown by faking a field goal. He has thrown four passes in the NFL, the latest against the Dallas Cowboys in October, resulting in converting a crucial 4th down.
Chandler Jones, Las Vegas Raiders, DE
Jones, a native of Rochester who spent three seasons playing defensive end for Syracuse, committed to the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason by agreeing to a three-year, $51 million deal. The linebacker, who has played in four Pro Bowls, previously spent six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and four with New England, where he helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in 2015.
The Raiders season is likely not one Jones wants to remember. The Raiders’ defense has performed poorly this season, contributing to some of the team’s difficulties. So far, the veteran pass rusher has not been up to expectations, and he may be on the move next season.
Justin Pugh, Arizona Cardinals, LG
Justin Pugh, a former offensive lineman for the Orange, is Kyler Murray’s safety blanket for the Cardinals again this year. He has been a boost to the Cardinal’s offensive line significantly.
However, his season has been filled with injuries, and he has been losing valuable practice time and several snaps. Sadly, Pugh will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during their loss to the Seahawks in late October.
Zaire Franklin, Indianapolis Colts, OLB
Zaire Franklin, a former linebacker for Syracuse, was selected by the Colts in the 2018 NFL draft. He had 40 tackles and an interception in 2021 and was chosen as one of Indianapolis’ captains.
Franklin currently leads the Colts in tackles and is coming off his fifth game with ten or more.
Alton Robinson, Seattle Seahawks, DE
In his second NFL season, the former Syracuse defensive end enjoyed mixed results on defense and special teams. However, his season got off to a bumpy start. Robinson sprained his PCL in late August and was placed on injured reserve ahead of the Seahawks’ season opener.
The 24-year-old is now qualified to return to practice at any time during the current season, though the anticipated timetable is still unknown. Robinson will have 21 days to practice and be added back to the active roster after being designated to return; otherwise, he will return to Seattle’s injured reserve for the remainder of the 2022 season.