During the 2012 NFL Draft in April, only two former Syracuse football players were selected through all seven rounds. One of those players stock rose so fast in the last few weeks before the draft that he was chosen in the first round by the New England Patriots – Chandler Jones, the first defensive end taken in the first round out of Syracuse since Dwight Freeney in 2002. Jones made the All-Big East in his final season with “Cuse” despite missing a few games due to injury.
The other standout player from Syracuse was former offensive lineman Andrew Tiller, which the New Orleans Saints took in the sixth round.
After the departure of Delone Carter two seasons ago, whom the Indianapolis Colts selected in the 2011 Draft, the running back position at Syracuse was open but slightly secured by Antwon Bailey. Becoming the front-runner for the Orange, Bailey was also named to the All-Big East first team. Starting all 12 games last year, Antwon Bailey rushed for 1,051 ranking him 10th on the Orange single season rushing list. If you did not get the chance to see Bailey play for the Orange, you missed his quickness and breakaway ability when getting to the outside numbers.
He was also an exceptional pass catcher out of the backfield in crucial situations as well. Bailey racked up 91 career receptions and over 700 yards receiving. Bailey is now a Washington Redskin, after signing as an undrafted free agent, and now has to work to make the squad.
He specifically said in an interview, “I’m an undrafted guy, I’m a free agent. I have to turn heads. I’ve got to make wild plays, basically.”
When asked about his first training camp, he stated, “Of course I’m nervous when I think about it, but you really don’t have time to think about it, between the training and how hard you work studying the playbook. I’m more ready than anything.”
By Jameel Shareef