The NFL's 2016 season is underway with all teams now hosting their training camps. Let's take a look at where some former Syracuse Orange players are at the moment and where they could be at the end of training camp.
Jay Bromley, DT/New York Giants
Bromley is currently on the physically unable to perform list. He underwent surgery for bone spurs, according to Tom Rock of Newsday. It seems it could be awhile before he's healthy, but he's expected to play in one preseason game. He was drafted by the Giants in 2014 in the third round. Last year, he played in all 16 games, starting in four of them. He made 36 total tackles ( 19 of which were solo). His best performance came against the Eagles in the last game of the season.
Eric Crume, DT/Carolina Panthers
Crume was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015, but was let go after a few months. He spent a week with the Green Bay Packers practice squad before signing a futures contract with the Panthers early this year. The Panthers defense was one of the best in the NFL last season, particularly in stopping the run, so Crume will have to show his full potential as a pass rusher if he wants to stick around in Carolina. It's not unlikely that he could bounce around some more before he finds a home where he can breakout.
Riley Dixon, P/Denver Broncos
There's a pretty good punter competition going on out there in Denver. Dixon is competing against veteran Britton Colquitt. It's promising for Dixon that he costs less than Colquitt and that the Broncos used a draft pick on him, as opposed to picking up some punter in the free agency, which would have been a very easy task. The latest report from Rich Kurtzman with USA Today says that Dixon and Colquitt are neck and neck in the competition.
Durell Eskridge, S/Arizona Cardinals
After the 2015 Draft, Eskridge signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. He was with them through rookie minicamp, before eventually getting picked up by the Cardinals. He spent most of the season on the practice squad, until he got moved up to active status, although he did not play. Eskridge signed a futures contract with the Cards and is currently on the active roster. He may have a decent amount to prove to stay there through the 53-man roster, as there are currently 10 safeties listed as active.
Dwight Freeney, DE/Atlanta Falcons
Freeney just signed a one-year deal with the Falcons. He spent most of last year with Arizona, collecting eight sacks in 11 games. This will be his 15th season in the NFL, so it's possible there aren't many years left in Freeney's future. It's certainly expected that he'll get playing time, given that the Falcons had the lowest sack total in the league last year. Freeney should be a decent improvement to their defensive line.
Sean Hickey, OT/Minnesota Vikings
Sean signed with the Vikings just last week. This is Hickey's fourth stop in the NFL after going undrafted in 2015. He previously spent time with the Saints, Patriots and Jets. Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota's line at 14th earlier this year, so it's definitely an area where they're looking to improve. Hickey's currently listed on Minnesota's active roster as an offensive guard.
Chandler Jones, DE/Arizona Cardinals
It was an "exciting" offseason for Jones. He was traded from the Patriots to an Arizona team in need of a pass rusher. Arizona stars Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu have both stated that they think Jones could get 20 sacks this season, as NFL.com's Marc Sessler reports. Jones tallied 12.5 sacks in 15 games last season. He's also in a contract year so there's plenty of motivation for Jones to play to impress.
Art Jones, DT/Indianapolis Colts
Art is entering his seventh NFL season. After his initial stint with the Baltimore Ravens, Jones signed a five-year contract with the Colts in 2013. Since then, he's missed quite a few games, and he'll miss the first four games of 2016 for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Zak Keefer of Indy Star speculates that while Jones' skills are needed, the Colts might get tired of waiting for him to see the field and let him go. If he does get released, there are probably a few teams ready to take a chance on him.
Cameron Lynch, LB/Los Angeles Rams
A decent chunk of the Rams linebacker corps that played last season has departed, which is good news for Lynch. He saw action as a special teams contributor for the Rams last year, and should likely do the same this season. Lynch was an undrafted free agent that made the squad last year and played in 16 games, so obviously the Rams are pretty high on him.
Ryan Nassib, QB/New York Giants
Life's a little tough when you're backing up a Super Bowl winning quarterback, and that's what Nassib is dealing with at the Giants. Giants QB Eli Manning praised Nassib when speaking to the media last month. Interestingly, this is the final year of Nassib's contract. The Giants will have to figure out just how much they like Nassib in the event Manning isn't starting for them. Manning has three years left in his contract. There's no reason to suspect they don't just re-sign Nassib, but who knows?
Justin Pugh, OT/New York Giants
Justin and the Giants (potential band name?) have been in discussions about a new contract according to GM Jerry Reese. Pugh's done a fine job with the Giants and it sounds like they're keen on keeping him around. He was a first round pick in 2013, which puts him in the final year of his contract. If the Giants elect to, they can exercise a fifth-year option for 2017 at a price tag of $8.821 million.
Shamarko Thomas, SS/Pittsburgh Steelers
Steeler Nation isn't too high on #SHAMARKO at the moment, after he lost his starting role last year. He saw playing time on special teams but played just 20 defensive snaps. Thomas was a fourth-round pick in 2013, so if he doesn't prove his worth this season, it's very likely he'll be let go. He's got competition from the Steelers second round draft pick of the 2016 Draft, strong safety Sean Davis out of Maryland.
Ron Thompson, OLB/Indianapolis Colts
Thompson ended up in Indy after getting picked up as an undrafted free agent. The Colts really needed a pass rusher, so they gave Thompson a decently large signing bonus of $15,000, which is higher than normal for someone who wasn't drafted. He'll compete with fellow rookies Curt Maggitt out of Tennessee and Trevor Bates out of Maine, along with former Florida player Earl Okine with one year under his belt.
Andrew Tiller, OG/San Francisco 49ers
It's a little early to buy into this, but rumors are Tiller is getting first team reps out there in Cali. He's been with a handful of teams since he was drafted in 2012. He played in two games towards the end of the year with the 49ers last season. That's great news, but Tiller's spot is in no way guaranteed and he's going to have to fight to keep getting first team reps.
Mike Williams, WR/Kansas City Chiefs
Williams hasn't been on the field in a while. Last season, he sat out the first three games with a suspension and then sat out as a free agent. He got picked up by the Chiefs in April, and the KC staff had positive things to say about him upon his signing. Williams has a pretty good resume and could definitely make an impact, although he has yet to match the production of his rookie year.
Also of note, Tanard Jackson is on indefinite suspension, but still listed as an active player by the NFL.
Additional thoughts on all of the SU players currently in the NFL? Share away in the comments.