Syracuse Football: Star Orange players garnering NFL Draft buzz for 2023

Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

Famed NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN recently released his early rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he’s included a pair of Syracuse football players in his position ratings.

According to a piece from Emily Leiker of, Kiper put Orange star running back Sean Tucker at No. 8 among RBs. Meanwhile, Kiper has ‘Cuse stand-out defensive back Garrett Williams at No. 9 among cornerbacks.

Obviously, we have a way to go before the 2023 NFL Draft, and we’ll have to see how Tucker and Williams perform during the upcoming 2022 season for Syracuse football.

But it’s encouraging that Kiper, one of the top NFL Draft analysts in the business, has these two Orange players on his radar.

Syracuse football didn’t have any players taken in the recently held 2022 NFL Draft.

After getting shut out in this year’s NFL Draft, the ‘Cuse certainly has a chance to hear one or more of its current players’ names called in the 2023 NFL Draft, led by the 5-foot-10 Tucker and the 6-foot Williams.

In 2021, when the Orange went 5-7 overall, Tucker produced a historic campaign for Syracuse football, on his way to earning various All-America honors and landing on the All-ACC first team.

The native of Owings Mills, Md., rushed for 1,496 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground in 2021. His total rushing yards surpassed the previous single-season record on the Hill held by the legendary Joe Morris, who ran for 1,372 yards in 1979.

Williams, whose hometown is Harrisburg, N.C., was placed in the All-ACC honorable-mention category last season. In 2021, he led the conference in pass breakups for the second term in a row.

During his career so far in Central New York, Williams has 116 tackles, eight tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and 22 passes defended, according to his bio on

The 2022 season will be the third year on the field for both Williams and Tucker. Williams took a redshirt stanza in 2019.

According to Leiker, Tucker represents the only ACC player at his position in the top 10 of Kiper’s early 2023 NFL Draft rankings.

We’ll certainly continue to monitor Kiper’s forecast as it relates to Tucker, Williams and any other Syracuse football players who end up receiving NFL Draft buzz for next year.

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