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Syracuse in the NFL: 2022-23 Regular Season Recap

Here’s how former Orange faired in the pros:

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The 2022-23 NFL regular season came to an end last weekend, leaving 14 of the 32 teams to vie for a Super Bowl Championship. While five of the 11 Syracuse Orange football alums are on teams that made the postseason, this is the perfect time to recap how all of their seasons went.

First though, I want to give some special appreciation to Buffalo Bills’ Athletic Trainer Denny Kellington. A member of the Orange football staff from 2005-2017, Kellington administered CPR to Bills’ Safety Damar Hamlin during last week’s Monday Night game.

His actions are likely what saved Hamlin’s life from a freak injury, and football fans everywhere owe him thanks.

Andre Cisco - S, Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The former 3rd-round pick had a successful second season down in Jacksonville. In 15 games, Cisco tallied 73 total tackles, a sack, three interceptions, including a 59-yard pick-six in Philadelphia, and 10 passes defended. He’s quickly establishing himself as one of the more underrated safeties in the league - we’ll see if he keeps it up against Justin Herbert and the Bolts in the Wild Card round.

Riley Dixon - P, Los Angeles Rams

Dixon spent his seventh NFL season on a new team, and unlike when they won the Super Bowl, the Rams needed a punter often this season. He booted the ball 71 times for an average of 48.4 yards, pinning opponents inside their own 20-yard line 19 times. He was also a perfect 2/2 on passes.

Zaire Franklin - LB, Indianapolis Colts

He didn’t wear #44 at Syracuse, but Franklin certainly earned the prestige associated with that number this season. He finished 4th in the NFL in total tackles (167) and 5th in solo (102) - the former of which set a new Colts’ franchise record. He also added three sacks, three forced fumbles, and six passes defended. The three-year, $12-million extension the linebacker signed before the season now looks like an absolute steal for Indy.

Trishton Jackson - WR, Minnesota Vikings

Jackson has yet to record any statistics in two years with the Vikings.

Kingsley Jonathan - DE, Chicago Bears / Buffalo Bills

After being signed as a UDFA by the Bills, Jonathan was cut and picked up by the Bears. He appeared in two games and recorded four tackles. He was released after Week 10 and signed by the Bills for a second time, appearing in one more game with one tackle.

Chandler Jones - LB, Las Vegas Raiders

Jones was one of the most sought-after defensive commodities in the 2022 offseason before signing with Las Vegas for 3 years and $51 million. The Raiders as a whole were a mess, and some of that trickled down to Chandler in what ended up being a down year. His stats were 37 total tackles, only 4.5 sacks (the first full season he failed to reach double digits since his 2012 rookie year), one forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries - one of which resulted in the most absurd ending to an NFL game this season:

Ifeatu Melifonwu - CB, Detroit Lions

Another second-year leaguer to take some strides, Melifonwu played in 10 games for the Lions. He recorded 14 tackles, 0.5 sack, and two passes defended.

Justin Pugh - OG, Arizona Cardinals

Started five games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 6.

Alton Robinson - LB, Seattle Seahawks

Missed the entirety of the 2022-23 regular season with a knee injury.

Chris Slayton - DT, Green Bay Packers

Did not appear in any games this season.

Trill Williams - CB, Miami Dolphins

Missed the entirety of the 2022-23 regular season with a knee injury.

We hope to see this list of ‘Cuse alumni grow this year when Matthew Bergeron, Chris Elmore, Mikel Jones, Sean Tucker, Garrett Williams and others enter the NFL Draft.