Certainly you’ve noticed the uptick in quality for the Syracuse Orange football program lately. Some of that’s measurable in terms of things like wins (obviously) and season ticket sales. Another way is in terms of players with a chance to get selected in the NFL Draft.
With that event coming up on Thursday, April 25, we wanted to profile Syracuse players that will warrant consideration this year.
First on that list is Jamal Custis.
Name: Jamal Custis
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 214 lbs.
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
NFL Draft Projections: 7th round/Undrafted
Senior Stats: 51 receptions, 906 yards, six touchdowns
Career Stats: 64 receptions, 1,050 yards, eight touchdowns
Game to Watch: 2018 vs. North Carolina (seven catches, 162 yards, one TD)
Pro Day/Scouting Combine Performance: 4.5-second 40-yard dash, 34.5-inch vertical leap, 124-inch broad jump
After losing a few pounds heading into his redshirt senior year, Custis broke out as a quick and physical deep threat who could also use his size close to the line of scrimmage when called upon. At the college level, he was bigger than every defensive back and plenty of linebackers, possessing the sort of presence a tight end would normally. He’s shown leaping ability and can block on the outside. His large hands certainly help matters.
Custis has only produced one full season of production since arriving on campus back in 2014, which is not a “con” for us as much as it could be for scouts. He was injury-plagued prior to this year and isn’t always the strongest route-runner. Plus he’s not as adept at fighting for the ball downfield as you’d think given his size.
Fun Fact: Custis possesses an impressive level of leaping ability and overall athleticism. He played basketball in high school and there was once talk about him suiting up for the Orange hoops team, too (until injuries became a bigger factor, that is).
TNIAAM Draft Prediction: I think he’s getting picked late by a team willing to take a flier on him and put in some work over the offseason. If he’s picked, it’ll be amazing that Custis is the receiver to hear his name called compared to record-setters like Amba Etta-Tawo, Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips who didn’t. But you can’t teach height and size and enormous hands.
The end of this year’s draft (as it currently stands) features plenty of teams that could afford to take a risk on a player like Custis — including the Vikings, Patriots and Cardinals.