Even if we’ve yet to see a Syracuse Orange football depth chart for 2021, we do have a general idea of who’s on the roster for this coming season, and the same goes for the rest of the ACC. And with kickoff still months away, it inevitably leads to preseason rankings and very early All-ACC looks.
It was the case over the last week, in particular, as two different All-ACC teams were shared.
On Thursday, ESPN’s David Hale released his initial All-ACC team, with first- and second-team picks only.
Athlon put out their All-ACC team last week & I haven’t been yelled at in a while, so here’s my early thoughts on the preseason team. Convince me I’m wrong before media days… (Note: tried to split the diff between established & expected performance) pic.twitter.com/JD1IDdCUXT— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) May 27, 2021
As you’ll notice, just a couple Syracuse players included on this two-deep. Hale picks Andre Szmyt as his top kicker in the league, and who could blame him given Szmyt’s 56 career field goals through three seasons? Kingsley Jonathan gets a second team nod at defensive tackle — which is interesting unless Jonathan’s going to be a bit more flexible across the line than he has been in the past. He’s traditionally played end for SU.
Elsewhere, Athlon named its own four-team All-ACC squad last week, and a total of seven Syracuse players saw their names included. That list, broken down by team:
- Taj Harris, WR
- Mikel Jones, LB
- Sean Tucker, RB
- McKinley Williams, DT
- Garrett Williams, CB
- Andre Szmyt, K
- Trebor Pena, KR
It’s interesting that Jonathan makes Hale’s two-deep, but receives no mention at all from Athlon. Also, Athlon seems to criminally underrate Szmyt on their list, putting Nick Sciba (Wake Forest), B.T. Potter (Clemson) and Christopher Dunn (NC State) ahead of him at placekicker. Sciba’s acceptable, I suppose. But the others?
The rest of the list includes names that could have surprising seasons for Syracuse and if they play their way up to a first- or second-team inclusion, then we might see some sizeable improvement as a team in 2021. Tucker and Garrett Williams re the top names to watch there, as the success each respectively experiences could prove especially critical. Pena’s also a nice sleeper pick as a kick returner after averaging over 32 yards per return last year with a touchdown.
How do these look to you? Any big changes you’d make? Share your own picks below.