2012 NFL Draft: Syracuse Football Prospects Waiting For Names To Be Called

Syracuse football fans are expecting to hear at least one player -- defensive end Chandler Jones -- having his name called during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN and NFL Network). Jones, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound pass rusher, is flying up NFL Big Boards and is slotted be selected anywhere from pick No. 10-32.

Though, Jones is now basically a shoo-in to earn a spot on a NFL roster, there are a few other Syracuse prospects -- defensive back Phillip Thomas, tight end Nick Provo and offensive linemen Andrew Tiller -- who will be doing a lot of hoping and praying over the next three days, as they wait for their names to be called.

So far, Thomas and Provo are the two best options for NFL teams.

Thomas (5-1, 160 pounds) is a play-making corner back/safety prospect, who collected six interceptions in his senior season for the Orange. However, his season was cut short due to a year-ending suspension that Thomas' has claimed full responsibility for.

Thomas also had some issues getting lost in coverage during his senior season, and, at time, showed a lot of laziness when it came to wrapping-and-tackling.

During the NFL Combine, Thomas' NFL Draft stock took a huge hit when his 40-yard dash time -- 4.72 seconds and 4.59 -- were way below average. The result pushed Thomas from being a late-round selection to an undrafted free agent. My guess is that Thomas doesn't get picked during the NFL's three-day event at Radio City Music Hall.


Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
2011 - Phillip Thomas 10 0 0 6 50 0 54 28

Meanwhile, Provo (6-4, 219), I believe, could be a future starter in the NFL. Provo played all four season for Syracuse and was a reliable target for quarterback Ryan Nassib for two of those.

This past season, Provo caught 51 passes for 537 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to help break SU single-season records for receptions and help him earn a All-Big East First-Team honors.

Under head coach Doug Marrone, a former offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, Provo has played under a pro-style offense and has flourished. The issue with Provo, however, is he's recovering from shoulder surgery, which he had in December, which kept him working out at the NFL Combine.

In an interview with Scout.com this week, Provo said his rehab is going well and he's not limited in activity. Currently, NFLDraftScout.com has Provo on the brink of being drafted or not.

Tiller (6-5, 334) had terrible workouts at the NFL Combien and didn't improve his stock at Syracuse's NFL Pro Day. The chances of Tiller getting picked are very slim.

-- For more on Syracuse Orange football NFL Draft prospects, check back to this StoryStream. Need more reaction to Jones' possible departure, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

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