As the Syracuse Orange football squad begins the 2022 season with their first practice we continue to hear about pre-season honors. Yesterday Pro Football Focus released their Pre-Season All-America teams and top 25 position rankings.
While no one from Syracuse was listed on the three pre-season All-America teams, five Orange players made the positional rankings. Sean Tucker was ranked 11th at running back (and tops among ACC backs) while Mikel Jones and Stefon Thompson were 11th and 21st respectively among off-ball linebackers. The Orange duo were one of four sets of teammates on the linebacker list (LSU, Cincinnati and Iowa were the others).
Matthew Bergeron was 19th among offensive tackles but PFF tabbed him as a sleeper heading into the season.
Only the Syracuse diehards have heard of Matthew Bergeron, but it’s time for the nation to recognize him as one of the best pass protectors at the position. He posted an 85.4 pass-block grade in 2021 — a top-five mark among returning Power Five tackles. Bergeron does need to play with a little more discipline, which would take his game to another level in 2022.
The final Syracuse selection might be a bit of a surprise because at 22nd among cornerbacks is Duce Chestnut and not Garrett Williams. Chestnut ranks 5th among ACC corners on the list and we wouldn’t be surprised if the end of the season list features both Orange corners.
Speaking of Williams here’s what he and Tucker had to say during yesterday’s media day.