2012 Syracuse Rookies in the NFL: Chandler Jones and Friends

Jones is Syracuse's best rookie

Each year, the NFL draft serves as a measuring stick for D-1 FBS football programs. Recruiting, player development and confidence in the coaching staff all play a part in the draft positions of each school’s players.

In 2012, Syracuse got the short end of that stick. With only two players drafted, and only a handful of undrafted players signed, it’s shaping up to be a rough year for the ex-Orange.

Jones is Syracuse’s best rookie

The Baltimore Ravens picked up a couple of our guys after all the cards were read, signing WR Dorian Graham and TE Nick Provo. Graham’s still in camp, but Provo’s cup of coffee didn’t get a refill, and he was cut in May.

» Related: New England Patriots Welcome Chandler Jones

DB Kevyn Scott is still hanging on after signing with the Miami Dolphins, but the Miami Sun-Sentinal’s Omar Kelly has him as a long shot to even make the practice squad.

RB Antwon Bailey is gettingplentyofattention after signing with his hometown Washington Redskins. Of more interest than whether he’ll make the team, however, is whether or not he’s actually a Cowboys fan.

Joining him in Washington is FS Phillip Thomas, who signed with the Redskins back in… oh wait, that’s FAKEPhillipThomas. Real Phillip Thomas is in camp with the Philadelphis Eagles.

Andrew Tiller, the big guard who was drafted in the 6th round by the New Orleans Saints, has already been shut down for the year in order to have surgery on his shoulder. His status on the team for next year looks good, but you won’t be seeing him on the field in 2012.

» Related: Chandler Jones goes in 1st round

All this brings us to our lone bright spot, Chandler Jones. And when I say bright spot, I mean “Las Vegas in the dead of night” bright.

DE Jones, the first round pick of the New England Patriots, has been drawing rave reviews from all over. After a dominating performance against the Saints in preseason that saw him pressure the quarterback on over a third of his snaps, national media members like Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has expressed confidence that he’ll be a national name this season.

All talk coming out of the locker room is just as positive, if not more so. Veterans and coatches are loving his work ethic and poise. Jones is poised to become the kind of high-profile star that helps shine the spotlight on the ‘Cuse, and should do wonders for Doug Marrone’s recruiting for years to come.

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