Which 2011 Syracuse Players Made NFL Rosters?
With the college football season underway and NFL season right around the corner, let’s take a look at which 2011 Syracuse players ended up in the NFL, now that rosters have been finalized:
Chandler Jones, Defensive End: Jones shot up draft boards before being picked by the New England Patriots in the first round at No. 21 overall. Jones signed a four-year, $8-million contract on May 23 and looks to fill one of the two starter spots left open by Andre Carter and Mark Anderson. Jones is the first SU football player to be drafted in the first round since Dwight Freeney was drafted 11th overall in 2002 by the Indianapolis Colts.
Jones is already being compared to current Giants defensive end Jason-Pierre Paul, who ironically played a big role in the Giants defeat of the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl. Jones was a Big-East First team selection in 2011, tallying incredible numbers in the games in which he played. His most recognized performance during that campaign was his Big East Defensive Player of the Week performance against West Virginia, when he recorded six solo tackles and two sacks.
Andrew Tiller, Offensive Tackle: Tiller had to wait all the way until the sixth round before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 179th overall pick. He signed a four-year deal with the Saints on July 3, and was pegged to be the principle backup for Jahari Evans, but injured his one of his triceps during training camp and underwent surgery on August 10. He was waived the next day for unspecified injuries.
Philip Thomas, Defensive Back: Thomas went undrafted, but signed a four-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent after the draft. Thomas received national attention when someone created a fake facebook account and tried to convince fans that Thomas actually signed with the Washington Redskins. He played in all four preseason games for the Eagles, but was cut on August 31
Antwon Bailey, Running Back: Bailey was not selected in the draft, but signed with the Washington Redskins. Bailey is not new to the D.C., having grown up in Landover, MD. While he has since been cut from the Redskins, he was signed to the practice squad.
Michael Hay, Offensive Tackle: Hay was another SU player who went undrafted. He did sign with the St. Louis Rams on May 1 as a free agent, but was then cut on July 25.
It looks to be another year with few Syracuse players in the NFL. Chandler Jones will obviously make the biggest impact, as he is the only SU player still on his team’s current roster. Tiller may get looks from other teams, but will be unable to work for 4-6 months after undergoing surgery. Thomas, Provo and Bailey may get other opportunities during the season, but for right now are looking for jobs.