Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
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... The Wild Cards
So it's come an end. The TNIAAM crew has discussed the four big Syracuse players we think we can see on Sundays and thus we are left to watch their arbitrary stock rise and fall with amount of grease in Mel Kiper's hair. But that doesn't mean we don't think more Orange players could pull a Van Chew or Dorian Graham and sneak into the NFL Draft pool somehow. Here are some of the wild card prospects from the boys and let us know who we left out/are completely wrong on.
Chris Daughtrey: My initial thought was Marcus Sales. He started off this season strong but has tailed off a bit. Another big bowl game might put him back in the spotlight, but I think that questions about his work habits will hold him back. He's not so overwhelmingly big or fast or talented that NFL execs are going to want to take a flyer on him. They're going to want a guy that's going to do whatever it takes to mold himself into an NFL player. I don't know if Sales is that guy. So, I'm going to look back to the offensive line and OG Zach Chibane. While maybe not as talented at Pugh, Chibane has started three years on the line and has blocked for three consecutive 1000 yard rushers (Delone Carter, Antwan Bailey and Jerome Smith). Like Pugh, Chibane has to pack on a few pounds to have a legitimate shot at making the big time, but it's nothing a few protein shakes can't fix. If Chibane puts up some good combine numbers, he's got a shot.
Matt McClusky: Hell, I'll go with Marcus Sales. Sure he has a...checkered past, and he didn't really live up to his full potential this past season, but Sales is a legit talent. Maybe with a good Pro Day and combine Sales will hear his name in April. At the least, I do think Sales will get a good shot to line up on Sundays.
Sean Keeley: Marcus Sales - Sales is an interesting case and while I don't think he'll get drafted, he's certainly got the potential to play on Sundays. He's got two major red flags working against him. The arrest and suspension that led to him missing the entire 2010-2011 season and his perceived lack of work ethic. He seemed to leave both of those things behind him this year en route to some solid numbers, but you know how people work. They'll latch onto it. Sales faded somewhat as the season went on, though much of that was due to the return and reemergence of Alec Lemon. Sales will need to put on a show in workouts and at the combine, but if he does, he might be able to sneak into a late-round pick.
Andrew Pregler: Marcus Sales is definitely the guy to watch. A big key here is that all of the guys mentioned have a 50/50 shot of even being invited to the combine. WR's, DB's and OL's take up a lot of slots because of their necessity on special teams and depth at the NFL level. I think Sales will get an invite and need to work his butt off if he's going to make the NFL. He may be the more prototypical receiver as opposed to Alec Lemon but the numbers don't lie: Lemon produced and Sales didn't. As echoed by everyone, If he can successfully navigate around his season long suspension and show off some speed, maybe he ends up in training camp via UDFA.