The NFL Draft is finally here...almost. Starting Thursday, April 22nd all the hype, mock drafts and conjecture is moot and the drafting begins. Of course, the only thing SU fans are wondering is...when will Arthur Jones go? (Oh and Mike Williams too, I suppose).
Art is almost likely the only Syracuse name you'll hear called during the draft (not counting Williams). With the reputation of a solid defensive lineman with serious questions about his health, you can bet that teams have done their due diligence on Art because of those knees. It's probably the big reason he's likely to drop to the late 2nd or 3rd round instead of being 1st round talent.
Not to say he might not still be in the 1st or early 2nd round discussion. According to Todd McShay (the real one, not the much funnier fake one), Jones is the 4th best available senior defensive lineman.
"Jones is not blessed with the same pass-rushing skills as (Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy
or Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh), but he belongs in the first round discussion because he's a beast of a run defender."
SBNation's mock draft saw Jones get picked with the 63rd overall selection by the Colts. The idea of Art working alongside former Cuse star Dwight Freeney might just be a best-case scenario. This definitely isn't a shot in the dark since the Colts are on record as showing interest in Jones and some even wonder if they might use their #31 pick on him instead of waiting.
Art won't be at the draft, he'll be in his hometown of Endicott at the ARTHUR JONES DRAFT BASHHHH (the extra H's are for...hashmarks?).
Mike Williams, self-proclaimed Steal of the Draft, remains an enigma. Not that NFL teams are scared of by any means. He's worked out for the Dolphins and Ravens, amongst others and his physical ability will be hard to pass up completely, character-issues or not. Perhaps Williams is right about being a steal, especially if he drops to the 4th or 5th round (which is very possible). Then again, he might also quit the team halfway through the season, so, such is the chance you take.
As for the other Orange hoping and praying for a miracle to hear their name's called...don't bet on it. If anything, a few of them will get camp invites after the draft. Greg Paulus is considered a darkhorse by some but not worth a draft pick. He'll get invited to join somebody I'm sure, most likely the Packers. That leaves WR Lavar Lobdell, WR/TE Mike Owen and safety Paul Chiara, who have commenced finger-crossing.