Syracuse football's senior defensive end Chandler Jones announced via Twitter Friday that he will skip his fourth year of eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Jones (6-foot-5, 265-pounds) earned All-Big East First Team honors in his final season, which featured 30 solo tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for a loss and 4 1/2 sacks in just seven games. Jones missed five games during the season because of a lower body injury.
"I just want to thank all the Cuse fans, alum, teammates, & coaches for supporting me those three years," said Jones. "I'll always bleed orange & blue no matter what."
Earlier in the day, SI.com's Draft Analyst Tony Pauline tweeted that Jones had been given a third-round grade by the advisory committee. The Orange, who finished the season 5-7 overall, will now need to replace its best defensive player for the 2012 season.
"It goes without saying this is a crushing blow to the 2012 Syracuse defense," wrote Sean Keeley of the SB Nation Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. "Jones would have been the anchor and almost certainly a team captain. Now the Orange are left to replace two veteran defensive ends as well as two solid safeties. It's going to be a scary spring."
-- 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.