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Former Syracuse WR Amba Etta-Tawo goes undrafted

253 prospects heard their names called; Etta-Tawo was not one of them.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Former Syracuse Orange wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo went undrafted Saturday, after 32 teams bypassed taking the 6-foot-2, 202-pound wideout in any of the draft’s seven rounds.

Former Syracuse wide receiver and return man Brisly Estime also went undrafted, as did offensive linemen Omari Palmer and Michael Lasker. While Estime, Palmer and Lasker were all expected to go undrafted, Etta-Tawo was projected to be taken as early as the fourth round in one mock draft.

This marks the second time in the past three NFL Drafts no Syracuse player heard his name called.

Etta-Tawo later signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars less than two hours after the draft concluded.

As a graduate transfer from Maryland, Etta-Tawo flourished in his lone season at Syracuse, setting the Orange single-season records for receptions (94), receiving yards (1,482) and receiving yards per game (123.5). Etta-Tawo was also one 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding receiver.

2016 Receiving Yards Leaders

Name Team Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns
Name Team Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns
1. Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech 136 1,803 13.3 12
2. Zay Jones Eastern Carolina 158 1,746 11.1 8
3. Taywan Taylor Western Kentucky 98 1,730 17.7 17
4. Richie James Middle Tennessee 106 1,625 15.5 12
5. Carlos Henderson Louisiana Tech 82 1,535 18.7 19
6. Dede Westbrook Oklahoma 80 1,524 19.1 17
7. Corey Davis Western Michigan 97 1,500 15.5 19
8. Amba Etta-Tawo Syracuse 94 1,482 15.8 14
9. Anthony Miller Memphis 95 1,434 15.1 14
10. James Washington Oklahoma State 71 1,380 19.4 10

Etta-Tawo then had a productive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.49-second 40-yard dash – which he later improved to 4.35-seconds at Syracuse’s Pro Day.

Despite his remarkable stats and measurables, Etta-Tawo remained an enigma for scouts and NFL front offices, as a number of concerns still lingered regarding his breakout season, including: dropped passes, the poor production at Maryland (not really his fault), limited route runner, raw talent and questions of how much Syracuse coach Dino Babers’ system played into his production.

Those concerns ultimately outweighed Etta-Tawo’s incredible 2016 season and resulted in the former Syracuse receiver going undrafted, despite finishing the year with only 18 fewer receiving yards than Corey Davis, who the Titans selected with the fifth overall pick.