Syracuse Football: 3 players graded in top 10 nationally at their positions

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Are you an analytical fan when it comes to Syracuse football? Do you love or rely on stats and analytics? Do like to see how others grade players on your favorite team? Or do you just like positive stories about Syracuse football going into the upcoming season?

Well thanks to PFF College, according to a tweet from the official Syracuse football Twitter account, three Orange players are among the top 10 graded returning players at their respective positions.

As shown in the graphic that was tweeted, PFF College has Marlowe Wax Jr. graded as the 8th-best linebacker, Oronde Gadsden II as the 8th-best wide receiver and Garrett Shrader as the 10th-best graded quarterback in the country.

I admit I’m biased so I could think of a couple of names missing from this list but I’m not an analytical person and rarely pay attention to stats so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I also think all three have a chance to improve on this as well.

Syracuse football has three players in the top 10 at their positions, per PFF College.

For starters, during spring practice sessions, Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers said doctors informed him that if Shrader underwent his procedure during the offseason, there’s a likelihood that he could return in time for the season and be healthier and better. And much like Babers, if there’s a chance we could see him improve, sign me up now.

And Wax, unfortunately, doesn’t have Mikel Jones beside him this season but if Stefon Thompson can return healthy, and playing behind Caleb Okechukwu, I don’t see why the three can’t combine to have great seasons leading to future NFL Draft speculation.

And speaking of the NFL Draft and current players, last week PFF College also did a list of 10 prospects at tight end to watch for the 2024 NFL Draft, and Gadsden II made the list. Oronde, because of his ability and size, has lined up at tight end and wide receiver, so grading him high at both makes sense. He is a guy who no matter what position you line him up at, will make plays to help the team.

Needless to say, all three guys deserve this honor and if that’s what the grade is, who am I to complain (especially without knowledge of the specifics behind the grading system)?

But I’m telling you now, don’t sleep on other returning juniors and seniors like Caleb, Stefon, Trebor Pena, Chris Bleich and Justin Barron also making a huge impact. And there are also a lot of youth and players who haven’t seen a lot of playing time who I fully expect to make a huge impact in the upcoming season (Bralyn Oliver, LeQuint Allen Jr. and Isaiah Jones especially).

Who is your highest-graded returning player? Who do you think will have a huge season in 2023 that impresses NFL scouts and makes big plays on the field? Or just who’s your favorite player you’re excited to see?

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