Syracuse Football: Three players on top-100 big board for 2023 NFL Draft
Syracuse football didn’t have any players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, but maybe that won’t prove the same story in 2023.
Obviously, all of this is speculation at this juncture, because the 2022 college football season is just getting underway. However, multiple Orange players are getting some nice buzz as we look ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft.
The ‘Cuse 2022 stanza doesn’t get started until Saturday, Sept. 3, when the team hosts Louisville, although some college football games did transpire this past weekend.
In any event, sports-analytics company Pro Football Focus recently put out its pre-season top-100 big board for the 2023 NFL Draft, and I was delighted to see that a trio of Orange players was included.
They are star cornerback Garrett Williams, All-American running back Sean Tucker and stellar offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron, who was a pivotal piece of the ‘Cuse offensive line that helped pave the way for Tucker to break the program’s single-season rushing record in 2021.
Let’s see where Syracuse football stand-outs reside on Pro Football Focus’ 2023 NFL Draft big board.
Williams, who is part of a terrific Orange secondary ahead of the 2022 campaign, is himself an All-American candidate this fall. Pro Football Focus has him as the No. 2 cornerback in the top 100, and Williams checks in at No. 16 overall.
In its write-up on Williams, Pro Football Focus said he “is unfortunately stuck in a scheme that isn’t set up to make his numbers look the best. He’s got a press-man kind of athleticism and ability, yet he ran only 26 snaps of press-man coverage last season. He’s racked up 13 pass breakups in two seasons for the Orange.”
Tucker, who accumulated nearly 1,500 yards on the ground in 2021 and is primed for a monster 2022, is No. 54 overall on the Pro Football Focus big board.
By the way, there are four running backs ahead of Tucker in this top-100 ranking. Personally, I feel like he should be the No. 1 or the No. 2 running back on this list, but all good.
Last but certainly not least, Bergeron is No. 95, according to Pro Football Focus. I love seeing this and truly hope that Matthew gets to play on Sundays down the line.
Per his bio on cuse.com, he started all 12 games at left tackle a stanza ago, when Syracuse football went 5-7. In 2021, Bergeron received honorable-mention All-ACC honors.
Here’s an interesting statistic that I hadn’t previously known about him. Citing ESPN Advanced Stats, cuse.com says that the Orange averaged four yards per carry off of Bergeron’s left-tackle position, which proved the highest total in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
As we noted toward the beginning of June, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. at that time had included both Tucker and Williams within the top 10 of his early positional rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft.
We’ll certainly continue to monitor various 2023 NFL Draft projections from experts, and I sincerely hope that these three Syracuse football stars ultimately end up in the NFL.