Syracuse University Football Best Players of All Time

John Rizzo

Syracuse University Football is one of the most storied programs in college football. Founded in 1889, the Orange have an impressive history that includes national championships and numerous legendary players who have gone on to success both on and off the field. The team plays its home games at JMA Wireless Dome, which provides a great atmosphere for fans to cheer their beloved Orange as they strive for excellence each season. Syracuse’s commitment to quality has resulted in multiple bowl appearances throughout its long history, making it a program with true staying power.

Table of Contents

1. Jim Brown

Running back

Jim Brown Career

  • Jim Brown was lacrosse star.
  • He was All-American in 1956-57.
  • Scored 5 goals in 1957 All-Star game.
  • Averaged 4.3 goals senior year.
  • Preferred lacrosse over football.

Brown was one of the most dominant players in NFL history. He won four MVP awards and is second all-time in rushing yards with 18,312. Brown also had a stellar career as a blocker and receiver for the Cleveland Browns.

In 1957 he became the first player to rush for 1,000 yards and catch 100 passes in a season. Brown retired from professional football after the 1965 season but continued to play semi-professional ball until his retirement in 1975 at age 40 due to injuries sustained while playing basketball.

Brown has since been recognized as an athletic icon and civil rights activist who has spoken out about social injustice throughout his life. Brown was an all-time great NFL running back who led his team to five championships in the 1960s. 

He also received several prestigious awards, including three MVP Awards and a retired number 32 for the Cleveland Browns.

Brown is arguably one of the most iconic athletes in American history and is considered by many to be among the greatest college football players ever.

2. Larry Csonka


Larry Csonka Career

  • 2× Super Bowl champion (VII, VIII)
  • Super Bowl MVP (VIII)
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1979)
  • 2× First-team All-Pro (1971, 1973)
  • Second-team All-Pro (1972)
  • 5× Pro Bowl (1970–1974)
  • Miami Dolphins Honor Roll
  • Miami Dolphins No. 39 retired
  • 2× First-team All-American (1966, 1967)
  • Syracuse Orange No. 39 retired

A fullback for the Miami Dolphins from 1968-1974, Larry Csonka was one of the most respected players in NFL history. A three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Csonka helped lead his teams to victory on a regular basis.

After retiring as a player, he served as an assistant coach with the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants before coaching at Boston College (1981–1989). 

In 1999, he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by his peers. Larry Csonka was a Hall of Fame running back who played for the Miami Dolphins and Syracuse Orange.

He won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins, as well as MVP honors in both contests. Csonka also earned first-team All-Pro recognition six times and second-team accolades twice during his career. 

In 1999 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he currently resides alongside such luminaries as Jerry Rice and John Elway.

3. Dwight Freeney

Defensive end

Dwight Freeney Career

  • Super Bowl champion (XLI)
  • 3× First-team All-Pro (2004, 2005, 2009)
  • Second-team All-Pro (2003)
  • 7× Pro Bowl (2003–2005, 2008–2011)
  • NFL sacks leader (2004)
  • NFL forced fumbles co-leader (2002)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2002)
  • Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor
  • Unanimous All-American (2001)
  • 2× First-team All-Big East (2000, 2001)

Dwight Freeney is a well-known defensive end who has played his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts. He started out playing college football at Syracuse but was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2002.

His biggest seasons came during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns when he recorded 11 sacks and helped lead the Colts to two AFC championships. In 2013 and 2014, Dwight Freeney joined San Diego Chargers where he continued to produce on defense, helping them make it to the playoffs both years.

At age 42, Dwight Freeney still possesses plenty of athleticism which allows him to play at an elite level despite being in his tenth season in the NFL Dwight Freeney is a 3-time first-team All-Pro and 2 time Pro Bowler. 

He was named the NFL sacks leader in 2004 and led the league with 13 forced fumbles that season.

In 2011, he helped lead the Arizona Cardinals to their first Super Bowl victory by recording two sacks in their 43–13 win over the New Orleans Saints. After 11 seasons in the NFL, Dwight Freeney announced his retirement at age 36 on February 10th of this year.

4. Donovan McNabb


Donovan McNabb Career

  • 6× Pro Bowl (2000–2004, 2009)
  • Philadelphia Eagles 75th anniversary team
  • Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame
  • Philadelphia Eagles No. 5 retired
  • 3× Big East Offensive Player of the Year (1996–1998)
  • Big East Rookie of the Year (1995)
  • 4× First-team All-Big East (1995-1998)
  • Syracuse Football All-Century Team
  • Syracuse Orange No. 5 retired

Donovan McNabb is a former NFL quarterback. Donovan McNabb played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins in his career. Donovan McNabb was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999 and played with them until 2009.

After leaving Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb signed with the Washington Redskins and played there from 2010-2011 before retiring from football. Donovan McNabbs accolades include winning.

Two Super Bowls (2001, 2005) as well as being named to five Pro Bowls during his career Donovan McNabb is a two-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowler.

Donovan McNabb was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999 and spent his entire career with the team. Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first championship in 2004, and he also played a major role in their second title win in 2009. 

Donovan McNabbs success as an NFL quarterback has been largely due to his ability to make plays downfield with his arm or legs, which has made him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in history.

After retiring from professional football, Donovan McNabb embarked on a successful television career as an analyst for various networks including ESPN and Fox Sports.

5. Marvin Harrison

Marvin Harrison Career

  • Super Bowl champion (XLI)
  • 3× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2002, 2006)
  • 5× Second-team All-Pro (2000, 2001, 2003–2005)
  • 8× Pro Bowl (1999–2006)
  • 2× NFL receiving yards leader (1999, 2002)
  • 2× NFL receptions leader (2000, 2002)
  • NFL receiving touchdowns co-leader (2005)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor
  • All-Big East (1995)

Marvin Harrison was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996 and played for them until 2008. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection and holds the record for most receptions in a career (1,549).

In 2004, he became only the second player to be voted into both the NFL's Hall of Fame and College Football's Hall of Fame. Marvin Harrison currently works as an analyst on CBS Sports' coverage of Sunday Night Football.

Harrison was a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time second-team all-pro. Harrison holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season (1,992) and is second all-time in receiving yards with 15,053. 

He played his entire 16-year career with the Indianapolis Colts where he won two Super Bowls and was inducted into the Ring of Honor.

Marvin Harrison is an all-around great player who will be remembered long after his retirement from football.

6. Chandler Jones

Defensive end

Chandler Jones Career

  • Super Bowl champion (XLIX)
  • 2× First-team All-Pro (2017, 2019)
  • 4× Pro Bowl (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021)
  • NFL sacks leader (2017)
  • NFL forced fumbles co-leader (2019)
  • Butkus Award (2019)
  • NFL 2010s All-Decade Team
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2012)
  • New England Patriots All-2010s Team
  • 2× All-Big East (2010, 2011)

Chandler Jones is a defensive end who played for the New England Patriots from 2012-2015 and then signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. Chandler Jones has Pro Bowl appearances in 2013, 2014, and 2015 as well as All-Pro selections in 2013 and 2014.

Chandler Jones was released by the Cardinals at the end of the 2018 season after playing just one game due to an injury. 

He is currently a free agent again. Chandler Jones stands at 6'5" and weighs 260 pounds, making him an imposing figure on opposing offenses Chandler Jones is a Super Bowl champion and 4-time Pro Bowler with 112 sacks in nine years in the NFL.

Chandler Jones was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010 and has been an essential part of their defense ever since, being named to multiple All-Pro teams and leading the team in sacks each year he has played. 

In 2018, Chandler Jones suffered a season-ending Achilles injury which ended his career at just 29 years old.

7. Floyd Little

Running back

Floyd Little Career

  • First-team All-Pro (1969)
  • 2× Second-team All-Pro (1970, 1971)
  • 5× Pro Bowl (1968–1971, 1973)
  • NFL rushing yards leader (1971)
  • NFL rushing touchdowns co-leader (1973)
  • Denver Broncos Ring of Fame
  • Denver Broncos No. 44 retired
  • 3× First-team All-American (1964–1966)
  • Syracuse Orange No. 44 retired

Floyd Little was a halfback for the Denver Broncos from 1967-1975. He was selected in the first round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Broncos, and he played his entire career with them.

Floyd Little is best known for rushing for over 2,000 yards in one season (1970). After playing his last game with the Broncos in 1975, Floyd Little retired from professional football and moved to Henderson, Nevada.

In 2002, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of their class of 2002. Floyd Little died on January 1st 2021 at age 78 after complications from surgery Floyd Little was a prolific running back in the NFL and one of its greatest legends.

He led the league in rushing yards three times, scored 43 touchdowns, and caught 215 passes. At 6'1", 225 pounds, Little was an imposing figure on the field who could break tackles with ease. His speed and power made him a nightmare for opposing defenses. 

After playing college ball at Syracuse University, Floyd entered the NFL as a rookie in 1968 with the Denver Broncos.

In just his second season he became one of the divisional rivals Pittsburgh Steelers' best nightmares by scoring 16 touchdowns on the ground – still an NFL record that has yet to be broken. 

During his 13-year career with Denver (1968–1971), Cleveland Browns (1972), San Francisco 49ers (1973), and Baltimore Colts (1974–1976), Floyd totaled 9,564 rushing yards and 58 total touchdowns – making him one of professional football’s all-time greats.

Floyd retired from pro football after 1976 but continued to play semi-pro baseball until 1981 before finally hanging up his cleats for good aged 44 years old – cementing himself as one of the American sport’s legendary icons.

8. Art Monk

Art Monk Career

  • 3× Super Bowl champion (XVII, XXII, XXVI)
  • First-team All-Pro (1984)
  • Second-team All-Pro (1985)
  • 3× Pro Bowl (1984–1986)
  • NFL receptions leader (1984)
  • NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1980)
  • Washington Commanders 90 Greatest
  • Washington Commanders Ring of Fame
  • First-team All-American (1979)

Art Monk was a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins and New York Jets in the NFL. He is best known for his time with the Redskins, where he helped lead them to three Super Bowl appearances (1981-1983).

After leaving the NFL, Monk went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles and then finally retired from playing football in 1995. 

In 2012, Art Monk was inducted into the United States Department of Agriculture's Hall of Fame during its 150th anniversary celebration.

Now 65 years old, Art continues to work as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports 1 and ESPN Radio networks. Art Monk was a dominant wide receiver in the NFL for over 20 years. 

He is one of only two players ever to win three Super Bowls, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

He also received multiple honors, including being named first-team All-Pro four times and second-team All-Pro twice. Monk's career came to an end due to injury, but he remains one of the most decorated receivers in NFL history.

9. Riley Dixon


Riley Dixon Career

  • High school: Christian Brothers Academy, (DeWitt, New York)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2016 / Round: 7 / Pick: 228
  • Denver Broncos (2016–2017), New York Giants (2018–2021), Los Angeles Rams (2022–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2016)
  • Punts: 512, Punting yards: 23,431, Punting average: 45.8, Inside 20: 171
  • Punts: 512
  • Punting yards: 23,431
  • Punting average: 45.8
  • Inside 20: 171

Riley Dixon is a punter for the Los Angeles Rams. He was drafted by the Rams in 2016 and has since played in two seasons. Riley is from Syracuse, New York and attended Christian Brothers Academy before college.

His NFL career has been short but successful; he's averaged 43 yards per punt over his two seasons. 

Riley is an advocate for mental health awareness and raises money for charity through his Punters Play For Charity foundation each year during the offseason Riley Dixon was a standout punter for the Denver Broncos from 2016-2017.

He averaged 45.8 yards on 512 punts and 23,431 net yards as a rookie in the NFL. Riley Dixon is an outstanding all-around player who can punt well, kick field goals, and make touchbacks on kicks off.

His excellent kicking abilities have helped him earn several accolades including being named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2016 and earning Second Team All Pro honors in 2017 by PFR magazine.

The Rams drafted Dixon with the hope he will be their long term successor at punter after previously playing for New York Giants between 2018-2021.

Also Played For: syracuse orange football

10. Justin Pugh


Justin Pugh Career

  • High school: Council Rock (PA) South
  • College: Syracuse (2009–2012)
  • NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19
  • New York Giants (2013–2017), Arizona Cardinals (2018–present)
  • Roster status: Injured reserve
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (2013), 2× First-team All-Big East (2011, 2012)
  • Games played: 120, Games started: 119
  • Games played: 120
  • Games started: 119

Justin Pugh was born in Holland, Pennsylvania on August 15, 1990. He attended Council Rock South High School and played football as well as basketball before focusing exclusively on football during his time at Syracuse.

After missing all of the 2009 season with a knee injury, Pugh began to play regularly for the Orange in 2010 and 2011 and finished his college career with 52 starts at left guard. 

The Arizona Cardinals drafted Justin Pugh in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft after he impressed scouts with his overall athleticism and versatility while playing both tackle positions at Syracuse University.

In 2016, Justin started all 16 games for the Cardinals and helped them make it to Super Bowl LI where they were defeated by Atlanta Falcons by 34-28 points Justin Pugh is a two-time All-Big East selection who started 119 games in his NFL career. 

He has played for the Giants and Cardinals, but was injured reserve with the Giants this season. Justin Pugh is an athletic lineman who can move well for his size, which makes him difficult to block on the interior of the line.

His blocking ability allowed him to be a part of multiple successful running plays during his time in the NFL. Justin Pugh will likely enter into retirement after playing just one more season due to injuries sustained over the last few years of his career.

11. Tim Green

Defensive tackle


  • High school: Liverpool (NY)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
  • Atlanta Falcons (1986–1993)
  • Syracuse Orange No. 72 retired
  • Quarterback sacks: 24.0, Safeties: 1
  • Quarterback sacks: 24.0
  • Safeties: 1
  • College Football Hall of Fame

Tim Green was born in Liverpool, New York on December 16, 1963. He attended Syracuse University and played linebacker for the SU football team from 1981 to 1984.

In the NFL Draft of 1986, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills as the 17th pick overall. He spent eleven seasons with the Bills before joining the Atlanta Falcons in 1999 and then moving to his final team -the Philadelphia Eagles- in 2003.

Tim has commentated for various sports networks since 1991 including Fox Sports Net (FSN), ESPN, CBS Sports Network (CSN), NBCSN and TBS). 

He is also an attorney who practices law out of his home state of New York; he authored a book about his life entitled "In My Own Words: My Life As a Football Player, Athlete & Lawyer".

Tim retired from professional football after playing one last season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008 where they reached Super Bowl XXXIX but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.

 He currently resides near Washington D c with his wife Julie and their two children Collin and Cassidy.

12. Ernie Davis


Ernie Davis Career

  • High school: Elmira Free Academy, (Elmira, New York)
  • College: Syracuse (1959–1961)
  • NFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
  • AFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
  • Cleveland Browns (1962)
  • Cleveland Browns No. 45 retired, National champion (1959), Heisman Trophy (1961), 2× Consensus All-American (1960, 1961), Syracuse Orange No. 44 retired
  • College Football Hall of Fame

Ernie Davis was one of the most highly-regarded athletes in American history. He was a halfback for the Syracuse football team and is considered one of college football's greatest players.

In 1961, at age 23, he died in an automobile accident. His death has been cited as a factor contributing to increased safety regulations in professional sport leagues across America. 

Ernie Davis' legacy lives on through his numerous awards and posthumous recognition, including induction into the College Football Hall of Fame twice (in 1965 and 1980).

Ernie Davis is one of the most beloved professional athletes in American history. He was named Heisman Trophy winner and national champion, as well as consensus All-American in both 1960 and 1961. 

Ernie Davis led Syracuse to a National Championship in 1959, becoming the first black athlete ever to win a collegiate football championship. After his successful college career, Davis entered the NFL Draft but was not selected until Round 1 of 1962 when he joined the Cleveland Browns.

With Cleveland, Davis won back-to-back Championships (1964–1965) before being traded to Baltimore where he played for two more seasons before retiring at age 27 due to an injury sustained during practice.

13. Daryl Johnston

Daryl Johnston Career

  • 3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (1993, 1994)
  • All-American (1988)
  • All-Big East (1988)

Daryl Johnston is an NFL executive and a former player. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and spent nine seasons with the team. Johnston then had a successful career as an executive with other teams, including the Arizona Cardinals (2000–2002), Baltimore Ravens (2003), St Louis Rams (2004), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005).

In 2006, he joined the United States Football League as EVP of Football Operations for its inaugural season. The USFL folded after one year of operation but Johnston has since resumed his career in football administration.

Most recently serving as VP of Player Personnel for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2016 to 2017. Daryl Johnston is a retired professional football player who played for the San Antonio Commanders and Dallas Renegades.

He was a three-time Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) and a two-time Pro Bowler. Johnston also received All-American honors from both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Big East Conference while playing at Syracuse University in 1988. 

After his retirement from football, Daryl currently serves as Director of Player Personnel for the United States Football League (USFL).

14. Sean Tucker

Running back


  • College: , Syracuse (2020–present)
  • High school: Calvert Hall (Towson, Maryland)
  • All-American (2021), First-team All-ACC (2021), Second-team All-ACC (2022)

Sean Tucker is a sophomore running back for Syracuse Orange. He was born in October 2001 in Owings Mills, Maryland and grew up in nearby Baltimore. At 5'10" and 205 pounds, he is an undersized running back but has shown flashes of brilliance with his speed and power during college football season.

Sean Tucker's career highlight so far came during the 2016 season when he ran for 111 yards on 15 carries against Pittsburgh Panthers to help lead Syracuse Orange to a victory. As a freshman at Syracuse Orange, Sean Tucker averaged 7 yards per carry on 36 attempts - showing that there may be some potential behind his small stature.

While he may not be the biggest or fastest player on the field, Sean Tucker is determined and hardworking which gives him a chance to succeed no matter what obstacles are put in front of him.

Also Played For: ncaa division football

15. Rob Burnett


  • High school: Selden (NY) Newfield
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1990 / Round: 5 / Pick: 129
  • Cleveland Browns (1990–1995), Baltimore Ravens (1996–2001), Miami Dolphins (2002–2003)
  • Super Bowl champion (XXXV), Second-team All-Pro (2000), Pro Bowl (1994)
  • Tackles: 603, Sacks: 73.0, Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 603
  • Sacks: 73.0
  • Interceptions: 1

Burnett was a defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers during his 11-year NFL career. He recorded 139 tackles, 25 sacks and 2 interceptions in 191 games played.

Burnett is most remembered for his performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1995 when he sacked Ken Anderson five times en route to recording a then-record 51 quarterback pressures in one game - still an NFL record today.

In 2001, Burnett signed with the San Diego Chargers where he finished his playing days after appearing in 14 games that season (1 start). Rob Burnett was a durable and consistent player with the Dolphins from 2002-2003. 

He anchored the defense in his second stint in Miami, recording over 60 tackles and one sack during that time. Rob also found success in Pro Bowls as he earned Second Team All-Pro status in 2000.

16. Mikel Jones


  • College: , Syracuse (2019–present)
  • High school: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
  • First-team All-ACC (2021), Third-team All-ACC (2022)

Mikel Jones was a linebacker for the Syracuse Orange. He is a junior and is majoring in psychology. He played football as a child, but didn't start playing organized football until he was in high school.

Mikel Jones has had success at both defensive end and linebacker during his career at Syracuse, earning First Team All-American honors as a sophomore and junior while being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior this past season.

Mikel Jones originally signed with Florida State University to play college football, but switched to Syracuse after visiting campus earlier this year when Jim Boeheim offered him a scholarship on national television following his game against. 

Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl earlier that year where he recorded 10 tackles (eight solo) including 2 sacks which led to FSU's loss by 31 points).

As of now, Mikel Jones appears set to declare for the NFL Draft next month where he will be one of many highly touted prospects available entering April's draft proceedings.

17. Jim Ringo

Jim Ringo Career

  • Chicago Bears (1969–1971)
  • Offensive line
  • Buffalo Bills (1972–1976)
  • Offensive line
  • Buffalo Bills (1976–1977)
  • Head coach
  • New England Patriots (1978)
  • Offensive line
  • New England Patriots (1979–1981)
  • Offensive coordinator / offensive line
  • Los Angeles Rams (1982)
  • Offensive line
  • New York Jets (1983–1984)
  • Offensive line
  • Buffalo Bills (1985–1988)
  • Offensive coordinator

Ringo was one of the great centers in NFL history. He played for the Packers from 1953 to 1963 and is sixth on the all-time list for sacks with 137. Ringo also caught 425 passes during his career, an average of more than 10 per season.

After retiring as a player, Ringo served as head coach of both the New Orleans Saints (1974–1976) and Philadelphia Eagles (1977). 

He died at age 75 after a long illness in 2007. Ringo was a successful offensive line coach in the NFL, helping guide teams to victory both as an assistant and head coach.

He began his coaching career with the Chicago Bears in 1969 before spending time with Buffalo, New England, and Los Angeles Rams. 

Ringo is most famous for his work with the Patriots (1978-1981), where he served as offensive coordinator and helped lead New England to three Super Bowl titles. In 1985, Ringo became the first African American head coach in NFL history when he was appointed by the Bills.

However, after just one season at the helm, he was fired due to poor performance on the field. After a brief stint back at offensive line coaching for Buffalo from 1988-1990, Ringo retired from football following two unsuccessful seasons guiding Jacksonville Jaguars offense in 1992 & 1993 respectively.

18. Arthur Jones

Nose tackle

Arthur Jones Career

  • High school: Union-Endicott, (Endicott, New York)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 5 / Pick: 157
  • Baltimore Ravens (2010–2013), Indianapolis Colts (2014–2016), Washington Redskins (2017)
  • Super Bowl champion (XLVII), 2× First-team All-Big East (2008, 2009), Second-team All-Big East (2007)
  • Total tackles: 173, Sacks: 10.0, Forced fumbles: 2, Fumble recoveries: 0
  • Total tackles: 173
  • Sacks: 10.0
  • Forced fumbles: 2
  • Fumble recoveries: 0

Arthur Jones is a defensive tackle who played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2010 to 2013. Jones had a successful career with the Ravens, recording 43 tackles and 4 sacks in his three years there.

After leaving the Ravens, Jones signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but was released shortly after. In January of 2017, Arthur Jones joined the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year contract worth $1 million dollars.

Jones has also been linked to several other NFL teams but has yet to sign with any of them permanently Arthur Jones was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 NFL Draft and played for them from 2014-2016. In 2017, he signed with the Washington Redskins and helped them win Super Bowl LI.

Arthur Jones is a very physical defensive lineman who has been known to cause havoc on both sides of the ball. He has accumulated 173 tackles, 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 0 fumble recoveries during his career thus far.

19. David Tyree

Wide receiver

David Tyree Career

  • High school: Montclair (NJ)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 6 / Pick: 211
  • Super Bowl champion (XLII), First-team All-Pro (2005), Pro Bowl (2005), PFWA All-Rookie Team (2003)
  • Receptions: 54, Receiving yards: 650, Receiving touchdowns: 4
  • Receptions: 54
  • Receiving yards: 650
  • Receiving touchdowns: 4

David Tyree is a former NFL wide receiver who played for the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens. He was known for his spectacular helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII, which helped lead to the Giants' victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

David Tyree was born on January 3, 1980, in Livingston, New Jersey. After playing college football at Syracuse, he was drafted by the New York Giants in 2003. In 2008, Tyree led the Giants to their second Super Bowl victory with another dazzling performance as a receiver.

He retired from professional football following the 2009 season. David Tyree has since focused on charity work and continues to support various causes throughout his home state of New Jersey. 

David Tyree is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion, having led the Giants to XLII victory over the New England Patriots in February 2012.

As an executive with the Giants, Tyree oversaw player development, helping develop young players into stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Jason Pierre Paul. 

In his playing days, David Tyree was known for his strong blocking abilities as well as his ability to catch long passes downfield.

20. Don McPherson


Don McPherson Career

  • High school: West Hempstead (NY)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 6 / Pick: 149
  • Philadelphia Eagles (1988–1989), Houston Oilers (1990)*, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1991–1993), Ottawa Rough Riders (1994)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (1987), Davey O'Brien Award (1987), Maxwell Award (1987), Sammy Baugh Trophy (1987), Syracuse Orange No. 9 retired, Syracuse Football All-Century Team
  • Passes completed-passes attempted (%): 211-497 (42.5%), TD-INT: 14-28, Passing yards: 3,248
  • Passes completed-passes attempted (%): 211-497 (42.5%)
  • TD-INT: 14-28
  • Passing yards: 3,248
  • College Football Hall of Fame

McPherson was a standout quarterback at West Hempstead High School in New York and played college football for Syracuse. He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1988 NFL Draft but never played in an NFL game.

McPherson spent two seasons with the Houston Oilers before being traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he finished his career. In 1993, McPherson signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders who made it to the Grey Cup that year but lost to Calgary in overtime.

After retirement from professional football, McPherson worked as a radio analyst for several teams before joining ESPN College Football as an analyst and contributor in 2007. A four-time Pro Bowler, McPherson was a stalwart at left guard for the Colts from 1973-1979.

He helped lead Indy to back-to-back AFC championships in 1978 and 1979. A two time All American selection (1974 and 1976), McPherson also won the NFLPA Non-QB Award in 1975 as the top lineman not starting an all or part of a game due to injury. 

Injuries forced him into retirement following the 1980 season, but he remains one of only 10 players in NFL history with 300 receptions and 3,000 yards receiving...both achieved during his career with Indianapolis.

After hanging up his cleats, McPherson entered coaching where he has worked since 1982 on both sides of the ball including stints as offensive coordinator for Miami (FL) from 2001-2002 and Carolina from 2003-2005 before joining Baltimore's staff as quarterbacks coach in 2006.

He was promoted to offensive coordinator/QBs Coach prior to this past season. Don is currently serving his second term as head football coach at San Jose State University after leading SJSU to a 7–6 record in 2017 which included their first bowl appearance since 1985. The Spartans are slated to compete in Conference USA next year.

21. Joe Morris

Joe Morris Career

  • Super Bowl champion (XXI)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (1985, 1986)
  • New York Giants Ring of Honor
  • NFL rushing touchdowns leader (1985)
  • Syracuse Orange No. 47 retired

Joe Morris is a running back who played for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in the NFL. He was drafted by the Giants in 1982 and spent four seasons with them before moving on to the Browns in 1991.

In his time with both teams, Morris made an impact as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. After retiring from football, he started a construction company that continues to operate today. 

Joe Morris is one of only two players ever to score touchdowns rushing, receiving, punt returning, kickoff returning and passing (the other being LaDainian Tomlinson).

Joe Morris was a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants. He is best known for his rushing ability, ranking first in NFL history with 50 touchdowns. Morris played 14 seasons in the NFL and retired after the 1986 season at 38 years old.

22. Keith Bulluck



  • 2× First-team All-Pro (2003, 2007)
  • Second-team All-Pro (2002)
  • Pro Bowl (2003)
  • First-team All-Big East (1999)
  • Second-team All-Big East (1998)

Keith Bulluck is a linebacker who played for the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons in his career. He was drafted by the Titans in 2000 and spent five seasons with them before moving to the Giants in 2010.

He has made two Pro Bowls (with Tennessee in 2003 and 2004) and earned All-Pro honors on three occasions (2002, 2005, 2008). Keith Bulluck also holds the record for most tackles recorded during a single season – 1,106 during 2006 with the Titans.

In 2009 he signed with the Falcons but only managed to play sporadically due to injuries over the following two years before retiring at age 34 Keith Bulluck was a Pro Bowl selection in 2003 and has been one of the most consistent players at linebacker in the NFL.

He played for four different teams during his career, but always found success with each team he joined. Keith is known for being an aggressive player who loves to get into the backfield on defense. He will be missed by fans and teammates after announcing his retirement earlier this year.

23. Andre Cisco

Andre Cisco Career

  • High school: IMG Academy
  • College: Syracuse (2018–2020)
  • NFL Draft: 2021 / Round: 3 / Pick: 65
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2021–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (2018), First-team All-ACC (2018), Second-team All-ACC (2019)
  • Total tackles: 85, Sacks: 0.0, Forced fumbles: 2, Fumble recoveries: 0, Interceptions: 3, Defensive touchdowns: 1
  • Total tackles: 85
  • Sacks: 0.0
  • Forced fumbles: 2
  • Fumble recoveries: 0
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Defensive touchdowns: 1

Andre Cisco was a standout safety for Syracuse, and the Jaguars drafted him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Cisco has started 43 games over his two-year career with Jacksonville, recording 191 tackles and four interceptions.

He is known as one of the hardest hitters on defense, and will be key to keeping quarterback Blake Bortles safe this season. 

Andre Cisco is an important part of Jacksonville's future, and he looks poised to continue developing into a premier safety in the NFL Andre Cisco was a dominant player in college, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and first-team All-ACC accolades.

He has NFL accolades to his name too, as he’s been named to both second-team All-ACC and pro bowl teams in his two seasons so far. Andre is an explosive defensive lineman who can cause havoc on the offensive side of the ball.

24. Garrett Williams

Garrett Williams Career

  • College: , Syracuse (2020–present)
  • High school: Hickory Ridge, (Harrisburg, North Carolina)

Garrett Williams is a sophomore cornerback for the Syracuse Orange. He measured in at 6'0" and weighed in at 176 pounds during the spring semester of his sophomore year.

Garrett Williams played high school football at Charlotte Catholic High School, where he was an all-state selection as both a defensive back and receiver his junior year.

As a freshman, Garrett Williams had three interceptions – one return for a touchdown – playing mostly on special teams while also seeing time on defense against UConn and Temple University early in the season.

In 2016, starting every game for Syracuse opposite DeShone Kizer (now with Cleveland Browns), Garrett recorded 56 tackles (43 solo), 2 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble en route to earning First Team All American Athletic Conference honors from CollegeFootballNews .com .

On January 12th of this year, Williams announced that he would enter the 2017 NFL Draft but stated that if drafted by an NFL team they will have first dibs on signing him because "I wouldn't want any other organization to get my rights." 

After going undrafted out of college last April despite possessing impressive numbers throughout his career including 38 passes defended over four years combined (33 starts) it's safe to say that there are some questions still surrounding this young man's ability to translate those numbers onto Sundays but we'll see what happens.

25. Chris Gedney

Chris Gedney Career

  • High school: Liverpool (NY)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1993 / Round: 3 / Pick: 61
  • Chicago Bears (1993–1995), Arizona Cardinals (1997–2000)
  • Consensus All-American (1992)
  • Games played: 73, Games started: 21, Receptions: 83, Receiving yards: 914, Touchdowns: 8
  • Games played: 73
  • Games started: 21
  • Receptions: 83
  • Receiving yards: 914
  • Touchdowns: 8

Chris Gedney was a tight end in the NFL for 13 seasons, playing for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. He started his career with the Liverpool Panthers of High School before going on to play college football at Syracuse.

He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1993 and spent three seasons with them before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997. His best season came in 1999 when he recorded 39 receptions for 511 yards and four touchdowns as part of an offence that made it to Super Bowl XXXIX.

Gedney retired from professional football following the 2013 season after spending time with both teams again during that campaign, but continued to work as a commentator for CBS Sports until his death in 2018 at 47 years old Chris Gedney was a consensus All-American and, in 1993, led the nation with 1,521 receiving yards.

He played for three teams over his nine-year career - Chicago Bears (1993–1995), Arizona Cardinals (1997–2000) and Carolina Panthers (2001). Chris retired from football after the 2001 season.

26. Delone Carter

Running back


  • High school: Copley (OH)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 4 / Pick: 119
  • Indianapolis Colts (2011–2012), Baltimore Ravens (2013)*, Jacksonville Jaguars (2013)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Rushing attempts: 133, Rushing yards: 499, Receptions: 6, Receiving yards: 31, Total touchdowns: 5
  • Rushing attempts: 133
  • Rushing yards: 499
  • Receptions: 6
  • Receiving yards: 31
  • Total touchdowns: 5

Delone Carter is a running back who played for the Indianapolis Colts from 2011-2012. He had some success with the Colts, gaining over 1,000 yards in each of those two seasons.

However, his time in Indianapolis was short-lived and he was traded to the New York Giants shortly after his second season with Indy ended. In New York, Carter revived his career and led them to an NFC East championship in 2013 before being released at the end of that year.

Delone then signed with Dallas Cowboys but only managed one game with them before being released again at the end of 2016 due to injury concerns Carter had a successful 2013 campaign with the Ravens, rushing for 133 yards and five touchdowns. 

The former Georgia running back is coming off of an injury-plagued season in which he rushed for only 499 yards on 141 attempts.

Carter has been durable throughout his career, playing in all 16 games each of the past three seasons and starting 14 contests during that stretch. 

He will be 34 years old when the 2014 NFL season starts, but Carter should still have plenty left in the tank as a reliable starter at any position on offense or defense within the league's trenches.

27. Jay Bromley

Defensive tackle

Jay Bromley Career

  • High school: Flushing (Flushing, New York)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
  • New York Giants (2014–2017), New Orleans Saints (2018), San Francisco 49ers (2019)*, DC Defenders (2020)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Total tackles: 80, Sacks: 2.0, Forced fumbles: 0, Fumble recoveries: 0
  • Total tackles: 80
  • Sacks: 2.0
  • Forced fumbles: 0
  • Fumble recoveries: 0

Bromley was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Bromley played college football at Syracuse and started all 45 games he appeared in for the Orange.

Bromley has spent his entire professional career with the Giants, playing in 134 games and making 98 tackles (81 solo) along with 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Bromley is a stout defender who can play either defensive tackle spot or on special teams as a blocker/hitter.

He is an important player for New York going into next season Bromley was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. 

Bromley played college football at Syracuse and recorded 112 tackles, 10 sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery over his career with the Orange.

Bromley signed a three-year contract with the Giants following his draft and made an immediate impact on their defensive line rotation as he started all 16 games for them in his rookie season. 

In 2015, Bromley missed six games due to injury but still managed to record 41 tackles and 2 sacks before being placed on injured reserve towards the end of that year after aggravating an old ankle injury.

In 2016, Bromley again missed time due to injury but returned strong in 2017 recording 57 tackles (second most on defense), 3 sacks (tied for second most) and one interception while also forcing one fumble during 11 starts throughout the season - helping lead.

New York back into playoff contention late in the year before they eventually fell short against Philadelphia despite holding their own statistically through much of regulation/overtime play).

Bromley as he's played every single game thus far for San Francisco posting 66 total tackles (7th most amongst all defenders), 4½ sacks (fourth best) and two interceptions while adding 1 Forced Fumble recovered along with 0 fumble recoveries so far this season. 

Which currently ties him atop SF's leaderboard both statistically & logically when looking at how many opportunities each player had to produce these stats.

28. Zaire Franklin


  • High school: La Salle College, (Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2018 / Round: 7 / Pick: 235
  • Indianapolis Colts (2018–present)
  • Roster status: Active
  • Total tackles: 261, Sacks: 3.0, Forced fumbles: 3, Fumble recoveries: 1, Interceptions: 1, Pass deflections: 9
  • Total tackles: 261
  • Sacks: 3.0
  • Forced fumbles: 3
  • Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Pass deflections: 9

Franklin was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Franklin attended Syracuse and played linebacker for the Orange.

Franklin has represented Team USA at both U-19 (2017) and U-23 (2018) levels, earning All-American honors in 2017. In his rookie season with Indianapolis, Franklin appeared in 10 games and recorded 18 tackles (-1 sack), one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. 

Franklin's career is still young but he has a lot of potential to develop into an elite NFL player over time Franklin was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Franklin played collegiately at Northwestern where he totaled 261 tackles, 3 sacks, and 9 pass deflections over his 4-year career with the Wildcats. Franklin is expected to play a key role for the Colts defense this season as they look to rebound from their disappointing 2017 campaign.

29. Alton Robinson

Alton Robinson Career

  • High school: Judson, (Converse, Texas)
  • College: , Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (2016), Syracuse (2017–2019)
  • NFL Draft: 2020 / Round: 5 / Pick: 148
  • Seattle Seahawks (2020–present)
  • Roster status: Injured reserve
  • Second-team All-ACC (2018)
  • Tackles: 48, Sacks: 2.0, Forced fumbles: 1, Pass deflections: 1
  • Tackles: 48
  • Sacks: 2.0
  • Forced fumbles: 1
  • Pass deflections: 1

Alton Robinson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. He played college football at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Syracuse. Robinson has appeared in nine games for the Seahawks as an outside linebacker since being drafted, recording six tackles and one sack.

Robinson is a versatile defensive back that can play both corner and safety. He was second-team All-ACC in 2018 and had 48 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection and was an honorable mention All American. 

Robinson has good ball skills as he had 8 receptions for 131 yards with a touchdown in his college career at Virginia Tech.

The Seahawks signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020 where he has played since then on injured reserve due to injuries sustained during the preseason of 2020.

30. Rob Konrad



  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43
  • Miami Dolphins (1999–2004), Oakland Raiders (2005)*
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Syracuse Orange No. 44 retired
  • Rushing yards: 114, Rushing average: 3.0, Rushing touchdowns: 1, Receptions: 111, Receiving yards: 854, Receiving touchdowns: 6
  • Rushing yards: 114
  • Rushing average: 3.0
  • Rushing touchdowns: 1
  • Receptions: 111
  • Receiving yards: 854
  • Receiving touchdowns: 6

Rob Konrad was a fullback for the Miami Dolphins from 1999 to 2004. He played for the Oakland Raiders in 2005, but did not record any stats. Rob Konrad is now retired and lives in Rochester, New York with his wife and two children.

Konrad is a seven-year veteran of the NFL, playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. Konrad was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Syracuse University. 

He has played in 114 games, rushing for 1,114 yards and six touchdowns on 335 carries (3.1 average) and catching 111 passes for 854 yards and six touchdowns.

He also has three punt returns for 102 yards (16.6 avg). Konrad signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent prior to this season after spending his first four seasons with the Cincy Bengals.

He became expendable when Jeremy Hill emerged as one of Joe Flacco's top running backs this year…The 6'0", 225-pounder will be looking to string together some good performances in order to secure another contract next offseason."

31. Anthony Smith


  • High school: Hubbard (OH)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 3 / Pick: 83
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2006–2008), Green Bay Packers (2009)*, St. Louis Rams (2009), Jacksonville Jaguars (2009–2010), Green Bay Packers (2010), Tennessee Titans (2011–2012)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XLIII, XLV), First-team All-Big East (2005), Second-team All-Big East (2004)
  • Total tackles: 176, Forced fumbles: 1, Fumble recoveries: 2, Pass deflections: 18, Interceptions: 7
  • Total tackles: 176
  • Forced fumbles: 1
  • Fumble recoveries: 2
  • Pass deflections: 18
  • Interceptions: 7

Anthony Smith was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. He played for the Green Bay Packers from 2009 to 2010. In 2011, he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and played there until 2013.

In 2014, Smith joined the St Louis Rams and retired after one season with them. Anthony Smith was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. Anthony Smith has spent his entire career with the Titans, and he has been a key part of their defense since being drafted.

Anthony Smith is known for his aggressive play on the field, which often leads to him causing turnovers. 

While Anthony Smith may not have had a lot of success in terms of statistics during his time with the Titans, he is still remembered as one of their most successful players over the past few years.

32. Trill Williams

Defensive back


  • High school: Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, NY)
  • College: Syracuse
  • Undrafted: 2021
  • New Orleans Saints (2021)*, Miami Dolphins (2021–present)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Roster status: Injured reserve

Trill Williams was born in Yonkers, New York on December 29th of 1999. He attended Archbishop Stepinac High School and played football there before moving onto Syracuse University to play cornerback for the Orange.

After college, Williams went undrafted but signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2021. In his rookie year with Miami, he made five starts and finished third on the team with 71 tackles while also being fourth in interceptions (two) behind Minkah Fitzpatrick, Xavien Howard, and Danny Amendola respectively.

His sophomore season saw him start all 16 games at cornerback again for the Dolphins and record 86 tackles along with two more interceptions - one off Drew Brees which helped get Miami into Super Bowl LIV where they lost to Philadelphia Eagles 41-33.

33. Andrew Tiller


Andrew Tiller Career

  • High school: Central Islip, (Central Islip, New York)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2012 / Round
  • New Orleans Saints (2012−2013)*, San Diego Chargers (2013)*, Green Bay Packers (2013−2014)*, San Francisco 49ers (2014−2016), Kansas City Chiefs (2017)*, New Orleans Saints (2018)*, Orlando Apollos (2019), Tampa Bay Vipers (2020)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Games Played: 28, Games Started
  • Games Played: 28
  • Games Started: 14

Andrew Tiller was born in 1989 and attended Central Islip High School in Queens, New York. He played college football at Syracuse before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

After spending two seasons with the 49ers, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 and has since remained there. Tiller was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

He played for San Francisco 49ers from 2014−2016 before being traded to Kansas City Chiefs during the 2017 season. 

Tiller signed with New Orleans Saints as a free agent in 2018 and started all 16 games at left tackle for them that year, helping lead them to their first Super Bowl victory since 2009.

In 2019, he re-signed with New Orleans and started all 16 games at left tackle once again, this time leading them to another Championship appearance against Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Also Played For: 2020 tampa bay vipers season, orlando apollos

34. Gary Bugenhagen


  • High school: Clarence (NY)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1967 / Round: 4 / Pick: 102
  • Buffalo Bills (1967), Boston Patriots (1970), Indianapolis Capitols
  • Games played: 24, Games started: 6
  • Games played: 24
  • Games started: 6

Bugenhagen was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1967 NFL Draft. He went on to have a long and successful career with the team, playing from 1967 until his retirement in 1988.

Bugenhagen played offensive tackle for most of his career, but also filled in at guard and center during his time in the NFL. Bugenhagen was a three-time All-Pro selection (1972, 1974, 1978) and won two Super Bowls with Buffalo (1973, 1981).

Bugenhagen is one of only four players ever to win both an MVP award (1978) and a Pro Bowler award (1976) while playing in the NFL. 

After retiring from professional football, Bugenhagen served as President of Football Operations for the Bills franchise from 1989 until 2001 before moving onto other roles within the organization.

In 2006, he was inducted into Syracuse's Athletic Hall of Fame alongside former Bills teammate Andre Reed and current head coach Rex Ryan .

35. Kyle Johnson


  • High school: Woodbridge (NJ)
  • College: Syracuse
  • Position: Fullback
  • NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 5 / Pick: 145
  • Carolina Panthers (2002)*, New York Giants (2002)*, Detroit Lions (2002)*, Denver Broncos (2002–2007)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only

Kyle Johnson was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2002 NFL Draft. He has played for the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions during his career.

Kyle Johnson is best known for his time with the Oakland Raiders where he won a Super Bowl ring in 2003 as part of their team that went 13-3 that season. 

After spending four seasons with the Detroit Lions, Johnson signed a contract with the New York Jets in 2011 but was released before playing a single game for them.

In 2013, Kyle returned to play football again after several years away from it and joined up with an amateur team called Woodbridge Township Spartans who were competing in NJCAA Division.

Football Championship games at Rutgers University Stadium Kyle currently works as an Assistant Coach at St Joseph High School in Paterson, New Jersey which is affiliated with Seton Hall University.

36. Shamarko Thomas

Strong safety

Shamarko Thomas Career

  • High school: Ocean Lakes, (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
  • College: Syracuse
  • Position: Safety
  • NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 111
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2013–2016), New York Jets (2017)*, Buffalo Bills (2017), Indianapolis Colts (2018)*, Denver Broncos (2018), New York Guardians (2020)*, DC Defenders (2020), Ottawa Redblacks (2021)*
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • First-team All-Big East (2012)
  • Total tackles: 69, Forced fumbles: 1, Fumble recoveries: 1, Pass deflections: 0, Interceptions: 0
  • Total tackles: 69
  • Forced fumbles: 1
  • Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Pass deflections: 0
  • Interceptions: 0

Thomas was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. He played with them for three seasons before joining the New York Jets in 2017. 

Thomas has also been with the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts since 2018 Thomas was a three-time first-team All-Big East selection and helped lead the Broncos to their only conference championship in school history.

Thomas has been with the Denver Broncos for four seasons, playing 69 total tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery during that time. However, his biggest contribution may have come on special teams where he's tallied over 100 punt returns for touchdowns (10) - second all time. 

In NFL history behind Darren Sproles. Thomas is also an accomplished return man on kickoffs returning 25 punts for scores since entering the league in 2013 including last season when he averaged 43 yards per return - fourth overall in the league.

At just 5'9", there are concerns about whether or not Thomas can hold up against bigger offensive lineman at the next level but if he can continue to make plays like this then those doubts will be answered quickly.

37. Paul Frase


  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 6 / Pick: 146
  • New York Jets (1988–1994), Jacksonville Jaguars (1995–1996), Green Bay Packers (1997), Baltimore Ravens (1998)
  • Sacks: 11.0, Interceptions: 0, Fumbles Forced: 0
  • Sacks: 11.0
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Fumbles Forced: 0

Paul Frase was a defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills from 1988 to 1992. He played in 112 games and recorded 57 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions.

After his NFL career ended, he spent six seasons with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In 2006, Frase became an assistant coach at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he currently works as an assistant head coach/defensive coordinator.

Frase was selected by the New York Jets in the 1988 NFL Draft. He played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and 1996 before joining the Green Bay Packers in 1997. 

Frase recorded 11 sacks with the Packers, helping them win a Super Bowl championship in 1997. After leaving Green Bay, Frase spent two seasons with Baltimore Ravens before retiring from football at age 33.

38. Kevin Mitchell


  • High school: Harrisburg (PA)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1994 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53
  • San Francisco 49ers (1994–1997), New Orleans Saints (1998–1999), Washington Redskins (2000–2003)

Kevin Mitchell was a linebacker for Syracuse from 1995-98. Mitchell played in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals before dying in a car accident on April 30th of 2007 at age 36.

A two time Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection, Kevin was known as one of the hardest hitters in the league and is still held in high regard by many football fans today. 

His death shocked his teammates, family members, and friends alike and left an enormous void not only on the playing field but off it as well too where he will always be remembered fondly Kevin Mitchell was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, but never played a down in the NFL.

He spent two years with the New Orleans Saints before being traded to Washington in 1998. In 2000, he had his best year as a pro when he recorded 47 tackles and one interception for the Redskins. 

After three seasons with Washington, Kevin Mitchell signed with the Philadelphia Eagles where he played until 2003. During his time in the NFL, Kevin Mitchell racked up 191 total tackles (96 solo), six sacks, four interceptions and one touchdown on defense while also catching 37 passes for 281 yards and one score on offense.

39. Keith Moody


  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1976 / Round: 10 / Pick: 280
  • Super Bowl champion (XV)
  • Interceptions: 3, INT yards: 63, Touchdowns: 3
  • Interceptions: 3
  • INT yards: 63
  • Touchdowns: 3

Moody was a standout defensive back at Syracuse and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 10th round of the 1976 NFL Draft. He played for both the Bills and Oakland Raiders, but is best remembered for his time with the New Jersey Generals.

Moody ended his career with 555 tackles, 12 interceptions, 26 passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, two sacks and one touchdown. Moody has since gone on to have a successful career as an assistant coach in the NFL and college football leagues.

In 2016 he became head coach of Temple University's Football program after serving as interim head coach for four games following Jay Norvell's firing. Moody is married to Karen and they have three children – daughter Kaitlyn (born 1985), son Keith Jr (born 1988) and son Brody (born 1992).

Keith Moody was a two-time Super Bowl champion as a player with the Houston Oilers and Philadelphia Eagles. Keith Moody is currently an NFL assistant coach, most recently serving as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2016 to 2017. 

In his coaching career, Keith Moody has overseen defenses that have ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed consistently throughout his tenure.

Keith Moody played football at Brockport (NY) College before embarking on a successful playing career which included three interceptions and 63 touchdowns over nine seasons with the Oilers/Eagles franchise.

40. Ryan Nassib


Ryan Nassib Career

  • High school: Malvern Preparatory School, (Malvern, Pennsylvania)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 110
  • New York Giants (2013–2016), New Orleans Saints (2017)*, Jacksonville Jaguars (2017)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • First-team All-American (2012), Second-team All-Big East (2012)
  • Pass completions: 9, Pass attempts: 10, TD–INT: 1–0, Passing yards: 128, Passer rating: 152.1
  • Pass completions: 9
  • Pass attempts: 10
  • TD–INT: 1–0
  • Passing yards: 128
  • Passer rating: 152.1

Ryan Nassib was drafted by the New York Giants in 2013 and made his NFL debut in Week 4 of that season. He started 10 games for the Giants during his first season, but injured his throwing shoulder late in the year and did not play again until he rejoined the team midway through 2014.

Nassib played well as a starter for New York over the next two seasons, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. However, injuries continued to plague him; he missed time due to injury each of 2015 (ankle) and 2016 (throwing shoulder).

On August 31st, 2017, it was announced that Nassib had been traded to Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2018.

In six starts with Cleveland after joining them on September 12th,

Ryan completed 71%of his passes for 1,675 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions while leading Cleveland to victories against Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills,Los Angeles Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs.

41. Garrett Shrader



  • College: , Mississippi State (2019–2020), Syracuse (2021–present)
  • Bowl games: , 2022 Pinstripe Bowl
  • High school: Charlotte Christian School, (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Garrett Shrader is a quarterback for the Syracuse Orange football team. Garrett was born on August 5, 2000 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended James K Polk High School where he played quarterback and running back for the varsity football team.

In his junior season of high school, Shrader led his team to an undefeated record and their first-ever state championship game appearance as they defeated Hickory 34–14 in the state title game. 

As a result of his outstanding play at James K Polk High School, Shrader was named a captain of both the United States Army All-American Bowl squad and Parade All-America Team in 2016. Garrett signed with Syracuse University to play college football under head coach Dino Babers in January 2017.

42. Dino Babers


  • 1979–1983: Hawaii
  • Position(s): Running back, defensive back
  • 1984: Hawaii (GA)
  • 1985: Arizona State (GA)
  • 1987: Eastern Illinois (RB)
  • 1988–1989: UNLV (ST/RB)
  • 1990: Northern Arizona (ST/DB)
  • 1991–1993: Purdue (WR)[2]
  • 1994: San Diego State (WR)
  • 1995–1996: Arizona (WR)
  • 1997: Arizona (RB)
  • 1998–2000: Arizona (OC/QB)
  • 2001–2002: Texas A&M (OC/QB)
  • 2003: Pittsburgh (RB)
  • 2004–2005: UCLA (WR)
  • 2006: UCLA (RB)
  • 2007: UCLA (AHC/RB)
  • 2008: Baylor (WR/RC)
  • 2009–2011: Baylor (ST/WR)
  • 2012–2013: Eastern Illinois
  • 2014–2015: Bowling Green
  • 2016–present: Syracuse

Dino Babers is the current head coach of Syracuse and has a record of 36-49. Dino Babers played running back and defensive back in his playing days, which gives him some experience working with both offense and defense as a coach.

Dino Babers was hired as the head coach at Syracuse in 2019 after spending two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oregon State. Under Babers' leadership, Syracuse has improved its record each season he's been in charge, but still sits just outside of bowl eligibility this year.

Despite having mixed success thus far, many expect Dino Babers to take Syracuse to greater things once he fully implements his offensive system on campus. 

Dino Babers is a successful coach who has led Syracuse to two NCAA Division I-A football championships. He was previously the head coach of Baylor and Bowling Green, where he compiled a 73–65 record.

Babers also won an NCF Championship with Eastern Illinois in 2014. Dino Babers was born on August 29th, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York City.

43. Markus Paul


  • High school: Osceola (FL)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 4 / Pick: 95
  • As player, First-team All-American (1988), As coach, 5× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI)
  • Games played: 71, Interceptions: 7
  • Games played: 71
  • Interceptions: 7

Markus Paul was a safety in the NFL for over 20 seasons. He played with the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears again before retiring in 1993.

Markus Paul is best known for his years with the Cowboys where he helped lead them to two Super Bowl victories. He passed away on November 25th 2020 at age 54 after a long battle with leukemia.

Markus Paul was born on October 5, 1971 in Frankfurt, Germany. He played football for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe and then attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he earned a degree in kinesiology.

After playing professional football in Europe, Markus Paul joined the New Orleans Saints as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 1998. In 2000, he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the New England Patriots before moving to the Jets organization as director of physical development in 2005.

Paul returned to New Orleans for two seasons (2006-2007) before joining Tom Coughlin’s staff with the Giants from 2007-2018 where he helped lead them to three Super Bowl victories (2011-2014). 

In 2018, Paul was named head strength and conditioning coach with Dallas Cowboys after serving one season as their Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach under Scott Linehan.

44. Stan Walters


  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1972 / Round: 9 / Pick: 210
  • Cincinnati Bengals (1972–1974), Philadelphia Eagles (1975–1983)
  • Second-team All-Pro (1979), 2× Pro Bowl (1978, 1979), Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame
  • Games played: 153
  • Games played: 153

Stan Walters was a standout offensive tackle at Syracuse and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1972 NFL Draft. He played for the team from 1972 to 1974, appearing in 37 games.

After his playing days were over, Walters went on to become an assistant coach with the Bengals and then head coach of the Miami Dolphins (1995–1997). In 1998, Walters returned to coaching as defensive coordinator of Oklahoma State University before retiring in 2000.

Stan Walters is currently a color commentator for college football broadcasts on Fox Sports 1 and 2. Stan Walters was a standout cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1975-1983. 

He was named to the Second Team All-Pro in 1979 and played in two Pro Bowls. Walters is one of just four players in Eagles history to have more than 100 tackles and 10 interceptions.

Stan Walters passed away at age 61 on July 21, 2003 after a long battle with cancer.

45. Kevin Abrams


  • High school: Hillsborough (Tampa, Florida)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 2 / Pick: 54
  • Detroit Lions (1997–2000)
  • Games played: 32, Games started: 11, Interceptions: 1
  • Games played: 32
  • Games started: 11
  • Interceptions: 1

Abrams was a two-time All American at Syracuse and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He played for the Bucs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears before retiring in 2007.

Abrams has been inducted into both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Syracuse University football halls of fame. He is currently an assistant coach with Florida Atlantic University's football team where he also serves as director of player personnel Abrams was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1997 and played for them from 1997 to 2000.

Abrams started 11 games during his career with the Lions, but he is most famous for intercepting a pass in 1999 which led to a game-winning touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. 

After playing football professionally, Abrams has since worked as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University and served as interim head coach of the university's football team before being hired full time on January 1, 2017.

46. Bob Yates


  • High school: Montpelier (VT)
  • College: Syracuse
  • AFL Draft: 1960 / Round: 1 / Pick: Territorial, (by the Denver Broncos)
  • Boston Patriots (1960–1965)
  • National champion (Syracuse) (1959), All-American (1959), Vermont Sports Hall of Fame (2012)

Bob Yates was one of the most dominant offensive linemen in NFL history, playing for Denver Broncos from 1960-1974. He played college football at Syracuse and was drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft.

Bob Yates is considered to be one of the best blockers in league history and helped lead Denver to four Super Bowl appearances (1962, 1967, 1968, 1971). 

He retired after 1974 season and later served as a coach for several teams before passing away from cancer on April 16th, 2013 at age 74 Bob Yates was a player in the NFL for over 20 years and played with some of the biggest names in football.

He was an All-American at Syracuse and won a national championship as part of the Boston Patriots dynasty. After retiring from playing, Bob Yates became a head coach in both college and pro football, amassing extensive success wherever he went. 

His stints with the Cleveland Browns (1986–1994) and Baltimore Ravens (1995–1998) were especially successful, leading each team to playoff berths and division titles respectively.

Bob Yates passed away in 2013 after suffering from ALS for many years; his memory will live on through his countless contributions to both sport and society alike.

47. John Flannery


  • High school: Pottsville (PA)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
  • Houston Oilers (1991–1994), Dallas Cowboys (1996–1997), St. Louis Rams (1998–1999)
  • Super Bowl champion (XXXIV), PFWA All-Rookie Team (1991), All-American (1990), 2× All-Big East (1988, 1990), Second-team All-Big East (1989)
  • Games played: 80, Games started: 46, Fumble recoveries: 5
  • Games played: 80
  • Games started: 46
  • Fumble recoveries: 5

Flannery was a standout offensive guard at Syracuse and was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1991 NFL Draft. He played for the Dallas Cowboys and St.

Louis Rams before signing with the Toronto Argonauts in 2000. Flannery moved to center field with the Argos, but retired after one season due to injury. He currently works as an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Pottsville High School.

Flannery is a two-time All-Pro selection (1995, 1996) who helped lead Dallas to its first ever Super Bowl victory in 1995 against San Francisco 49ers Flannery played linebacker at Syracuse and was drafted in the 2nd round (41st overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.

Flannery had a successful career with Buffalo, playing on two Super Bowl winning teams (XXXIV, XXV) as well as being named All-Rookie Team and Second-team All-Big East player in 1990. In 1995, Flannery signed with the Miami Dolphins but only played one game before retiring due to injury.

After his retirement from football, Flannery became an assistant coach for Syracuse University where he is currently coaching linebackers.. John Flannery is married with three children and lives in Florida.

48. Jim Ridlon


  • High school: Nyack (Nyack, New York)
  • College: Syracuse
  • NFL Draft: 1957 / Round: 4 / Pick: 39
  • San Francisco 49ers (1957–1962), Dallas Cowboys (1963–1964)
  • Second-team All-East (1956), Second-team All-Pro (1964)
  • Games played: 89, Interceptions: 9
  • Games played: 89
  • Interceptions: 9

Ridlon was a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts during his NFL career. Ridlon played college football at Syracuse and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

Ridlon retired from professional football after the 1965 season, having played in 97 games over six seasons with Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Ridlon is currently a scout for the New York Giants, working primarily with safeties on their draft board.

Ridlon was named to five pro bowls while playing in the NFL, including two as a member of Pittsburgh (1962-63) and three with Baltimore (1959-60, 1961-62). In 2012, he was inducted into Syracuse's Athletic Hall of Fame alongside legendary Olympian John Carlos .

Ridlon was an accomplished pass rusher who helped the 49ers and Cowboys win a combined four Super Bowls. Ridlon played his college ball at Syracuse before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1957. He made an immediate impact with the Niners, recording 8 sacks in just 14 games as a rookie en route to Second-team All-Pro honors.

Ridlon continued to rack up accolades during his tenure with San Francisco, earning First-team All-NFL honors three times (1958, 1959, 1961) and Third team recognition once (1960). 

After spending two seasons with Dallas, he signed with Baltimore where he won another championship in 1964 - his last season in the NFL. Ridlon retired after that season having recorded 88 total tackles and 9 sacks over 10 career playoff contests.

Final Words

. . . Syracuse University Football is one of the most storied programs in college football. Founded in 1869, the Orange have produced many outstanding players over the years.

Some of the best include running backs Jim Brown and Floyd Little, quarterback Stan Sessums, defensive back Ernie Davis, and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. The team has had a number of successful seasons under head coaches Darryl Rogers (1967-1970), Dick MacPherson (1971-1974), Paul Pasqualoni (1975-1981) and Rick Majerus (1982-1990).

Syracuse’s most recent championship was in 2003 under coach Bernie Fine.

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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