It took three hours, 3 minutes and 20 other picks into 2012 NFL Draft Thursday, but Syracuse University has its 13th name to add to the list of former first-rounders as defensive end Chandler Jones is a New England Patriots. The Patriots selected Jones (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) with the No. 21-overall pick, after trading up its No. 27th pick and third-round pick with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Patriots will now hope the former Orange can develop into player like, maybe, All-Pro pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, a former first-rounder and Syracuse grad.
“Based on my experience in the NFL," said Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, "I see Chandler developing into a top tier defensive end. I hope he has the same success as (defensive end) Dwight Freeney and all of the Syracuse players in the National Football League.”
For weeks, rumors swirled about where Jones, a native of Binghmaton, NY, would go. Since declaring for the NFL Draft in December, Jones has flown up draft boards, which initial pegged him as a third- to fourth-rounder. Now, like it or not, Jones is another SU alum who's a face of a NFL franchise.
“Chandler is everything you want a player to be. And, as good as he is on the field, he is an even better person off the field," said Marrone. "He comes from a family that did a great job in raising him. He has terrific parents and two outstanding role models in his brothers, Arthur, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens and Jon, the UFC light heavyweight champion. Chandler is a prime example of what we mean when we talk about keeping New York state players in their home state to play at Syracuse.
Here's a list of former Syracuse University football players that were taken in the first round of the draft:
1973: Joe Ehrmann, DT, Baltimore Colts
1980: Art Monk, WR, Washington Redskins
1986: Tim Green, LB, Atlanta Falcons
1988: Ted Gregory, DT, Denver Broncos
1990: Rob Moore, WR, New York Jets
1996: Marvin Harrison, WR, Indianapolis Colts
1998: Donovin Darius, DB, Jacksonville Jaguars
1998: Tebucky Jones, DB, New England Patriots
1999: Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
2000: Keith Bulluck, LB, Tennessee Titans
2001: Will Allen, CB, New York Giants
2002: Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts
For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation New York’s StoryStream. For a complete list of 2012 NFL Draft results as they happen, visit SBNation.com. For more on how Jones fits in with the Patriots, check outs Pats' Pulpit. Talk about Jones and Syracuse football fans over Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For even more comprehensive coverage of the NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.