Syracuse Football Top 25 Players of All-Time: No. 13 Chandler Jones

Syracuse football, Chandler Jones (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)
Syracuse football, Chandler Jones (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images) /

Syracuse Football has had a long history of success. We look back at some of the best players to play at Syracuse University. Up next, No. 13: Chandler Jones.

Syracuse football star defensive end Chandler Jones was a beast for the Orange during his time on the Hill from 2008-2011. Quick and strong, he was able to get around the corner of opposing offensive lines with ease bringing down quarterbacks and rushers alike for a loss.

Though he did not play his freshman season, he quickly earned the respect of the coaching staff with his work ethic and playmaking ability. His hard work paid off and he earned the right to play in all 12 games his sophomore year, starting eight of them, according to Jones’s numbers on the field earned him National All-Freshman Second Team honors as well as a mention on Phil Steele All-BIG EAST Third Team. In that 2009 campaign, he registered 1.5 sacks, 52 total tackles, (33 solo), and had 10 tackles for a loss.

During his junior year with Syracuse football, Jones would continue to show improvement. He would start all 13 games, (including the bowl win against Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl), had three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 4.0 sacks, 57 total tackles (38 solo), and 9.5 tackles for a loss. At the end of that 2010 season, he would earn ALL-Big East Second Team honors and Phil Steele’s All-BIG EAST Third Team selection once again.

In his final season in Orange, Jones upped the ante once more earning All-Big East First Team honors despite playing (and starting) in only seven games due to injury. In that seven-game span, Jones put up incredible numbers in about half the number of games he had played the two previous seasons. In only seven games, he recorded one interception with a 32-yard return, two forced fumbles, 4.5 sacks, 38 total tackles (30 solo) and 7.5 tackles for a loss. One can just imagine how high those numbers could have been if he had stayed healthy and played in 5-6 more games!

After graduating from SU, Jones was selected 21st overall in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Jones would immediately make a name for himself in the league and quickly become one of the NFL’s best and most feared defensive players.

More from All-Time Lists

In New England, Jones would anchor the defensive line from both the right defensive end position as well as the right defensive tackle position. In 55 career games with the Patriots, he recorded: 52 starts, 211 tackles (125 solo), 38 tackles for a loss, 36.0 sacks, 64 QB hits, 10 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), and one interception, according to

In addition, he also helped New England go to two Super Bowls (XLVI and XLIX), winning one of them. He would lead the Patriots to a win in Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 by the score of 28-24. In that game, he recorded three tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss, and one QB hit, according to

Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball while being pursued by Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015.  (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball while being pursued by Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015.  (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

In the offseason following the Super Bowl in 2015, the Patriots decided to trade Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, most likely as a cost-cutting measure. In Arizona, he was quickly shifted to LOLB (left outside linebacker) to make better use of his speed on the edge. He would start all 16 regular-season games with the Cardinals in 2016 recording 11.0 sacks, 49 combined tackles (38 solo), 15 tackles for a loss, 21 QB hits, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

As of the time of this writing Jones is still an active member of the Arizona Cardinals. In his time with the Cardinals, he has accumulated the following statistics:

  • 69 games played with 69 starts
  • 211 tackles (175 solo)
  • 68 tackles for a loss
  • 61.0 sacks (almost a sack per game!)
  • 105 QB hits
  • 17 forced fumbles
  • seven fumble recoveries

In addition, Jones led the NFL with 17.0 sacks and 28 tackles for a loss in 2017, and also led the NFL in 2019 with eight forced fumbles. Jones paired that with an amazing 19.0 sacks in 2019 (a 0.5 sack short of the NFL lead held by Shaquil Barrett-19.5), according to Pro Football That 2019 performance led the NFL to rank Chandler Jones the 15th best player in the NFL going into the 2020 season, after not ranking him in the Top 100 the year before, according to

Former Syracuse Football Defensive End Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals
Former Syracuse Football Defensive End Chandler Jones (55) of the Arizona Cardinals lines up at linebacker and looks down Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2). Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

A superstar defensive player almost right from the get-go, Jones in just nine seasons has already accumulated: 432 combined tackles (300 solo), 106 tackles for a loss,169 QB hits, 96 sacks, 27 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries (one of which was returned for a touchdown), and one interception.

According to the Arizona Cardinals website, only “five players in NFL history had more sacks in their first eight seasons than Jones”. That’s an incredible accomplishment and speaks to the type of player the Syracuse Football program helped lead to the NFL.

In addition, Jones has also started 121 out of 124 career games in his nine years in the NFL. What’s crazy is he is only 30 years old and has multiple years still left in the NFL if he stays healthy. There’s no telling what kind of amazing numbers he could put up in that span.

Next. Chandler Jones is closing in on huge career NFL milestone. dark

In future years, Jones can only climb up this list of former Syracuse greats even further. He may already be good enough to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, but with a few more years of domination in the NFL he could leave no doubt. Jones is one special defensive player and it all started at Syracuse.