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Syracuse football: where the Orange are projected to be picked in the 2023 NFL Draft

Here’s an early look at where Syracuse players stand in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2022 college football season officially under wraps, it’s time to look ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft. Several Syracuse Orange players have officially declared for this year’s draft but four are likely to hear their names called: Sean Tucker, Garrett Williams, Matthew Bergeron, and Mikel Jones.

Based on the early projections, we’re taking some guesses at if and when these SU alumni will hear their names called in April:

CB Garrett Wiliams: early-to-mid second round

PFF 2023 Draft Ranking: 37th overall (#7 cornerback)

Frame: 6-0, 189 lbs.

2022 stats: 35 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, two interceptions

Background: Williams projects high mainly because of he’s been a reliable defensive playmaker. He’s shown the ability to play both the run and pass during his Syracuse career. Teams looking for a turnover-generating machine on defense will definitely have Williams on their radar.

RB Sean Tucker: late third or early fourth round

PFF 2023 Draft Ranking: 83rd overall (#6 running back)

Frame: 5-10, 205 lbs.

2022 stats: 206 rushes, 1,060 yards, 5.1 yards per carry, 11 touchdowns, 36 receptions for 254 yards and two touchdowns

Background: In a spaced-out offense with a solid offensive line, Tucker thrives at his absolute best. Even after a down year, he’ll still receive interest given his status as a top-10 running back in this draft. The question for Tucker is his potential overall. Can he become a consistent pass-catcher in the NFL? Can he hold up in pass protection? Against NFL athletes, will he be able to burst after first contact for extra yardage? Tucker possesses a solid floor, but an unknown ceiling in the modern NFL.

OT Matthew Bergeron: early-to-mid fourth round

PFF 2023 Draft Ranking: 100th overall (#9 offensive tackle)

Frame: 6-5, 322 lbs.

2022 stats: 686 snaps, allowing 2 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 5 sacks

Background: Bergeron played over 2500 snaps for Syracuse over the course of his time with the Orange. Rebuilding teams looking for depth will have their eyes on Bergeron as a development piece with a high floor if he can match up athletically. A couple of draft previews have suggested that his pro future could be at guard and that’s something we’ll let Steve dive into as the draft approaches.

NCAA Football: Virginia at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

LB Mikel Jones: fourth to fifth round

PFF 2023 Draft Ranking: 136th overall (#8 linebacker)

Frame: 6-1, 224 lbs.

2022 stats: 82 total tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Background: Jones emerged as the leader of the Orange defense, but over his career he’s displayed a knack for timely plays. His first season was all about creating turnovers and last year he was the top pass rusher for Syracuse. The trend towards more spread offenses in the NFL can help a player like Jones as his size won’t necessitate a move to safety. Individual testing will be important for Jones to display his quickness.


Other players will certainly draw a look from NFL teams but are unlikely to be drafted. For that group selecting the best opportunity for success will be crucial. How do you feel about some of the Orange’s more-prominent names in this year’s draft? Who could improve their draft stock heading into April?