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Syracuse’s Legacy in the NFL Draft

Syracuse University has a storied history of producing top-tier football talent, and many of its players have gone on to make significant impacts in the NFL. As we wrap up the 2024 NFL Draft, let’s take a look back at some of the notable players from Syracuse who have been selected in the draft and how their careers have evolved since then.

Notable Syracuse Players in the NFL Draft

Jim Brown

Jim Brown is arguably one of the most iconic figures in football history, known for his sheer athleticism and power on the field. Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957, he made an immediate impact on the NFL. With 12,312 rushing yards and a career average of 104.3 rushing yards per game, Brown topped the league in rushing yards in eight of his nine seasons. This dominance earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and he was named to the NFL’s 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Throughout his career, Brown’s ability to break tackles and his physical presence set him apart from other running backs. He was a three-time NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, demonstrating his consistency and dominance in the league. His career with the Browns is a cornerstone of Syracuse’s legacy in the NFL, serving as an inspiration for players who follow in his footsteps​.

Larry Csonka

Larry Csonka, drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1968, was a key component of the team’s back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the early 1970s. Csonka’s powerful running style and durability made him a cornerstone of the Dolphins’ success, contributing to the team’s perfect season in 1972, the only such record in NFL history.

Csonka’s career spanned over a decade, with multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, reinforcing his reputation as one of the most formidable fullbacks in the NFL. After his time with the Dolphins, he also played for the New York Giants, further demonstrating his versatility and tenacity. His contributions to the Dolphins’ victories and his impact on the field have cemented his status as a legend among Syracuse alumni.

Art Monk

Wide receiver Art Monk was drafted by the Washington Redskins (now Commanders) in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft. Monk’s career is defined by his reliability and consistency. He was instrumental in leading Washington to three Super Bowl championships and became the first player to catch over 100 passes in a season. Monk finished his career with 940 receptions, 12,721 receiving yards, and 68 touchdowns. Monk’s impact on NFL teams was profound, with his steady performance becoming a safe bet for NFL Draft choices.

Monk’s career with the Redskins included three Pro Bowl selections and being named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, further solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. His success has set the standard for future Syracuse players in the NFL​.

The Legacy Continues

These players are just a few examples of the rich legacy that Syracuse has built over the years in the NFL Draft. Their success serves as an inspiration to current and future Syracuse football players, demonstrating that with hard work and determination, they too can achieve greatness in the NFL.

Despite not having any players drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft, Syracuse players like quarterback Garrett Shrader and cornerback Isaiah Johnson could be picked up in the coming days and have the opportunity to make an impact on their team.


Syracuse’s history in the NFL Draft is a testament to the quality of its football program and the dedication of its athletes. Whether it’s Jim Brown’s dominance, Larry Csonka’s power, or Art Monk’s consistency, Syracuse players have left an indelible mark on the NFL, and the future looks bright for those who follow in their footsteps.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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