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Syracuse football: roundtable thoughts on the projected Orange depth chart

We’re trying to generate more excitement as the season approaches

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange football season is fast approaching and once again information is extremely limited. beat reporter Emily Leiker shared her thoughts on the projected depth chart based on practice observations.

Now it’s our turn to respond to projections from these observations.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 01 Syracuse Spring Game Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Which player are you surprised to see listed on the offense?

Andy: Donovan Brown was not a name I expected to see on the two deep at wideout, considering that the team kept him mostly on special teams in just four games, preserving his redshirt status. With Oronde Gadsden lining up primarily inside, I’m curious what the more traditional slot receiver combo of Trebor Pena and Donovan Brown are asked to do in the offense.

Steve: Not a surprise so much and clarification but David Wohlabaugh making the start at right tackle. That spot was a big question. It was also a big question as to whether Wohlabaugh would fit in at tackle or center. This one seems to answer both questions. Joe More, Jakob Bradford and Joe Cruz were all in that conversation but looks like Wohlabaugh impressed.

Kevin: Isaiah Jones not only stays listed as a starter, but he’s been touted by players and coaches as being a difference-maker. If Syracuse runs a starting group of Gadsden, Jones and Damien Alford, that is a giant group of receivers for opponents to contend with on the outside.

Mike: Kalan Ellis with the twos is a shock to me. He and Chris Bleich are the only returning starters from last season and while I’m happy to see some of the transfers doing well immediately, it seems odd that he would’ve fallen off that much from the spring, when he seemingly had Left Guard locked down.

Which player are you surprised to see listed on the defense?

Andy: I’ve been high on Dennis Jaquez Jr. since his commitment to the Orange as the defensive lineman equivalent to what the staff did with the likes of Andre Cisco and Mikel Jones: upper percentile athlete with weird size that meant Syracuse could offer playing time if the player bulked up. Jaquez Jr. being a clear starter feels like a great sign that he’s ready to be a key starter for at least the next two seasons.

Steve: Kevon Darton retaining his role as starter this year is a testament to his improvement last season. While I expect a platoon style defensive line approach and Lockett OR Ingraham to get reps, Darton staying as the number one wasn’t expected.

Kevin: Greg Delaine holding a back-up corner spot is a bit of a surprise. Jayden Bellamy and Jaeden Gould being on the 2nd team is also a surprise based on their high school rankings. I do think the secondary is going to feature a lot of players this season so I wouldn’t get too caught up in 1st vs 2nd unit.

Mike: I would’ve expected Anwar Sparrow to be the temporary first-teamer while Stefon Thompson recovers, but instead its Leon Lowery. Sparrow seemed to get better as 2022 went on, while Lowery did have a nice outing at Boston College but not much else. LB depth is still a bit thin though so no complaints as long as at least one is up to the challenge.

NCAA Football: Pinstripe Bowl-Syracuse vs Minnesota Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Which player(s) are you surprised were not on this two-deep?

Steve: Kadin Bailey being omitted seems off to me. After a strong showing in the bowl, it looked like he was primed to be included in the two deep. Unsure as to why he got beaten out, or if it’s via injury and he’s carrying a knock. We’ll find out soon... or not.

Kevin: Francois Nolton is a slight surprise at this point. I expected Nolton and Jaquez to emerge out of the young defensive end group, but maybe Nolton isn’t back at 100% yet.


Now it’s your turn to share thoughts on this projected two-deep, let us know in the comments