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New York Jets need a Syracuse football deep dive in 2020 NFL Draft; Part 1

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Syracuse Orange players and head coach Dino Babers stand amidst special effects before the game against the Holy Cross Crusaders at the Carrier Dome on September 28, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Syracuse Orange players and head coach Dino Babers stand amidst special effects before the game against the Holy Cross Crusaders at the Carrier Dome on September 28, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets should do a local deep dive ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here’s an inside look at some of the top Syracuse football prospects.

The New York Jets owe it to themselves to look at every avenue to improve the roster during the offseason.

One place they haven’t explored recently but should do a deep dive in the 2020 NFL Draft is the local chapter of Syracuse football.

The Orange haven’t been all that relevant in the 21st century, but this current crop is worth monitoring.

Syracuse is graduating/sending over 22 seniors to the next chapter in their lives and for some of these players that include the 2020 NFL Draft.

Here’s a deep dive on the top offensive and special teams products coming out of the Syracuse football program this year.

Offense

. . . Moe Neal, RB. 1. 827

  • Who knows what the future will hold for all-pro running back Le’Veon Bell after a career-low season in 2019. So the green and white should do everything in their power to find diamonds in the rough in the backfield.
    • Moe Neal is a smaller back (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) but he brings some versatility (can line up at wideout and be used normally at tailback). In his four years on the hill, he combined for over 3,000 all-purpose yards.

. Trishton Jackson, WR. 2. 827. .

  • The New York Jets could lose Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa (projected cap casualty), and Demaryius Thomas. They need all the help they can get at the wide receiver position and this is a hidden gem in Syracuse.
    • Jackson decided to forgo his remaining eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL Draft. TJ is an explosive playmaker who really came into his own in 2019: 66 receptions for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Jets need a No. 1 wide receiver and Trishton could fit that bill.

. Sean Riley, WR. 3. 827. .

  • The New York Jets already have a potent slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, but it never hurts to have good backups.
    • Sean Riley is a smaller receiver who can be extremely shifty in space. On top of his abilities as a wide receiver, he also is a great punt returner and kickoff returner.
      • As a freshman, he led the NCAA in kickoff return yardage back in 2016. Whatever offense the Jets are running in 2020 they can use unique all-purpose players and that’s what Sean Riley brings to the table.

Special teams

. . . Sterling Hofrichter, punter. 4. 827

  • Lachlan Edwards is a pending free agent and he’s been a solid contributor, but if the Jets want an upgrade they need to send their scouts to the Syracuse campus for their upcoming Pro Day.
    • Hofrichter is one of the best punters in college football. He spent five years on the hill and as a freshman, he earned first-team All-American honors then this past season he was one of the three finalists for the Ray Guy Award which is annually doled out to the nation’s best punter.

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  • Sterling’s abilities speak for themselves: he averaged a career-best 43.7 yards per punt this season. On top of that, he punted the ball 64 times this year and 20 of them were inside the opposing 20-yard line.
  • Additionally, Hofrichter can step in at kicker when needed. Earlier this season for the Orange he belted a 52-yard field goal.
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