With the regular season complete, it's time for NFL Scouts to start honing in on collegiate players ready for the next level. Once again, there are a handful of Syracuse players who have been on draft radars all year and climbing or falling down the charts. Before the postseason bowl, we'll take a look at where these guys stand right now and keep track of them until the big day in April. Next up... WR Alec Lemon
Player: WR Alec Lemon
Vitals: 6-2, 202 lbs
Regular Season Stats: 70 rec, 1063 yds, 7 TD
Strengths: Excellent route runner, experience and "clutch" gene.
Weaknesses: Lack of speed and strength and injury history.
Current Projections: None that definitively list Lemon as drafted
Big Moment: Single handedly ensuring that Syracuse became bowl eligible with his final drive performance against Missouri.
What the TNIAAM Crew Says
Chris Daughtrey: When I look at Alec Lemon, I see a bigger version of Wes Welker, Blair White and Julian Edelman. Lemon's a guy that's not going to wow you with his work out numbers, but he'll get open and make the catches that need to be made. Unfortunately, though, those are also the guys who typically end up going undrafted and have to grind to make it as a free agent. I will say this, though. He does have a size advantage over most possession receivers. Welker, White and Edelman don't crack six feet. If Lemon can live up to being bigger version of those guys, plenty of teams will be interested. Bigger is almost always better in football. He'll help himself if he can put up a good 40 time at the combine too. Straight line speed isn't likely to be a huge asset for him in the NFL, but a good time will get him noticed and that's the biggest thing he needs right now.
Matt McClusky: 2012 was off the charts for Lemon. He became the lifeline for Syracuse's offense. Yes, Nassib was the leader and Smith was the workhorse behind an ever-improving offensive line, but without Lemon the Orange don't go bowling. Period. And NFL scouts notice things like that, and things like the video game stats, too. I don't know if he has the stature, standing at six foot two and weighing just over two hundred pounds, but Lemon has proved he has a knack for catching the football. That screams middle of the draft steal, doesn't it? No one wants to pay for wideouts because that's a position that relies on too man other positions (o-line, quarterback, etc), and Lemon, with a good combine, could prove to be that diamond in the late rounds rough.
Sean Keeley: I'm really curious to know what NFL teams think of Lemon. Right now I have no idea where he shows up on the list of WR prospects. My guess is that he's a fringe draftee and he'll need to put up some really great combine/workout numbers in order to lock down his draft status. There's not much that stands out about him physically and he doesn't have that many amazing highlights so it's a bit of an uphill battle.
Andrew Pregler: When I think Alec Lemon I think Hines Ward: a guy who doesn't have speed but is always open. What made Hines so good was that he was tough as nails and was equal part blocker as receiver. Lemon doesn't possess that kind of strength yet but a slot guy who runs near perfect routes and has shown that he can perform on the big stage? That's a kind of guy I take a late flyer on in the 7th round or is the first UDFA I call. I think ultimately Lemon needs a massive bowl game combined with solid combine numbers if he wants to be drafted. This doesn't mean he won't be successful in the NFL.
Consensus: Lemon still has a lot of work to do before he can be drafted but as of now, the potential is there for him to rise up the boards.