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The NFL Draft is this weekend! But you already knew that since your Mel Kiper, Jr Terror Alert has been at orange for a good two weeks now. Last season was the first time Syracuse did not have a player drafted since 1975 (Thanks Greg!). The Orange are hoping not to turn that into a streak and out best best is FB Tony Fiammetta.
Even though many consider Fiammetta the top fullback available, he's still right on the cusp of being drafted. Most mock drafts have him going in the 7th round,
one even has him as Mr. Irrelevant (to the Giants, which would be sweet). The Miami Dolphins come up as a good fit for Tony, perhaps shades of Rob Konrad dancing in their head. Even if he doesn't get drafted, he's a sure thing to be in a camp this summer.
But what of Ryan Durand? SU's best offensive lineman last season is hoping for a shot at getting drafted and some say there's a decent chance:
Durand, a Leominster native and St. Bernard's graduate, is certainly on the radar of the general managers, coaches and personnel types who will select 256 players over the seven rounds of this annual collegiate grabfest. The Syracuse guard is projected as a possible sixth- or seven-round pick, so if his name is called it likely won't be until late Sunday afternoon.
The four-time All-Big-East Academic selection who graduated with a 3.75 GPA is sure to get points for having the smarts to match his size. Two teams that seemed to notice specificially were the Patriots and Bears:
About half the NFL's 32 teams were represented at the Carrier Dome, including the Patriots, who had interviewed Durand at the Shrine Game. He undoubtedly caught their attention with a strong workout that showcased surprising speed, agility and explosiveness for such a big guy.
The Bears were impressed enough to fly Durand to Chicago for a one-on-one visit a few weeks ago. Each team is allowed to bring in a maximum of 30 prospects prior to the draft, so those private invites are coveted.
The Patriots would be a fantastic fit for Durand given his propensity for devouring shellfish. I'm sure he knows his way around some soft shell crabs as well so perhaps Baltimore might be a good fit as well.