Going into the 2014 Syracuse football season, everyone thought Sean Hickey and Durell Eskridge were the Orange's two best pro prospects. After the season, that remains true, as both have received NFL Scouting Combine invites.
It shouldn't come as a surprise for either, but still a very cool thing for any player looking to continue their playing career in the NFL. Yesterday, Eskridge tweeted out his excitement, in the form of an email screenshot:
The redshirt junior safety was dinged up a bit this past season, but still showed off enough of his skill set to continue to receive pro hype. Mel Kiper Jr. was of the mindset that he could've used another year in school, and I'm sure most Orange football fans would've liked to see him return as well -- if only to help a position (secondary) that's been a struggle of late.
Right now, Eskrdige is projected as a fourth or fifth round pick by CBS Sports, though he is ranked as the sixth-best free safety in the draft right now. NFLDraftScout has Hickey as a fifth or sixth round pick right now, and he's ranked 16th amongst offensive tackles. You have to think both will benefit a bunch from the combine, where scouts can really get a good glimpse of their respective strengths (especially given how little people outside of these walls were paying attention to Syracuse football last fall...).
While it's not shocking that he didn't get an invite, Cameron Lynch and Prince-Tyson Gulley are obviously not on the list -- as of yet, anyway. Lynch, who could be seen as slightly undersized, definitely could have used his time at the combine to show he's worthy of being selected. Same with Gulley, who's also smaller for his position. The fact that he was left off (to our knowledge) doesn't mean he won't be drafted either, mind you. It just helps to go to the combine. In the meantime, both players' NFLPA Collegiate Bowl tape will also give scouts something to work off of. Gulley rushed for 18 yards no five carries in the contest, while Lynch recorded two tackles.
For those who want to watch your favorite former Orange football players show their stuff for scouts, the NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis, and will be on NFL Network from February 17-23.