first_imgOnly two of Syracuse’s eight players who attended the school’s pro day are projected to be selected in the National Football League Draft in Chicago this weekend.Former SU defensive end Ron Thompson is projected by FOXSports.com to be drafted No. 94 overall in the third round by the Denver Broncos. Seven-round mock drafts by NFL.com and Pro Football Focus don’t have Thompson being drafted at all.The other former Orange projected to be drafted is punter and fake-kick aficionado Riley Dixon. He impressed at the NFL Combine in February as ESPN analyst Mel Kiper ranked him the No. 2 punter available in the Draft. NFL Draft expert Lance Zierlein sees Thompson as a strong fit as an edge rusher in a defense that plays a 3-4 scheme and compares him to New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, formerly of Louisville.Dixon’s NFL.com draft player page lists his strengths as his poise under pressure, ability to control punts inside the 20-yard-line and hang time. The former SU punter forced fair catches on 40.8 and 42.4 percent of his punts the last two seasons, respectively. His weaknesses are listed as his average leg strength and issues with the wind when playing outside of a Dome.Chloe Meister | Presentation DirectorThe 6-foot-5, 219-pound right-footed punter has been hyping his ability to do more than just kick, tweeting a homage video to the fakes he ran at SU. He was one of six punters invited to the Combine, but did not run the 40-yard dash, bench press or perform any non-kicking drills. Fox Sports projects Dixon to be drafted by the New England Patriots 243rd overall at the tail end of the seventh round. NFL.com pegged Dixon as a late seventh round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Focus did not project him to be taken at all. Last season, only one punter and zero kickers were drafted. Comments The other six players — quarterback Terrel Hunt, linebacker Oliver Vigille, defensive back Julian Whigham and offensive linemen Ivan Foy, Nick Robinson and Rob Trudo — are not projected to be drafted.Analysts say it’s difficult to project where Thompson fits into a defense. He shifted from tight end to defensive end in college and is listed as an outside linebacker, defensive end or combination of both by most draft sites. His NFL.com draft player page lists him as a defensive lineman.The 6-foot-3, 255-pound defender’s strengths, per multiple analyses, are his quickness, athleticism and intelligence. His weaknesses are his poor finishing ability as a tackler, that relies too much on his hands and a lack of aggressiveness.The play that launched Thompson’s draft stock, CBS Sports’ Rob Rang wrote, was the sack against No. 8 Louisiana State in which he beat Tigers’ right tackle and projected first-rounder Vadal Alexander.center_img Published on April 27, 2016 at 11:22 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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