A total of six former Syracuse University football players are now on NFL rosters. Defensive end Alton Robinson and punter Sterling Hofrichter were drafted in the 2020 NFL draft. After the draft’s end, though, four past Orange also signed contracts to join NFL teams. They’ll now join each team’s 90-man roster and compete for a spot on the final 53-man roster. Here is a look at each of the six players:
Alton Robinson, DE, 5th Round to the Seattle Seahawks
Robinson earned All-ACC honors in two of his three seasons at Syracuse. He finished his career seventh in school history with 19.5 sacks and tied for ninth with 32.5 tackles for loss. In 36 career games (34 starts) from 2017-19, Robinson recorded 115 tackles, including 46 as a senior.
Robinson was initially projected to be a third-round pick, but an altercation he had in high school with an ex-girlfriend may have led some NFL teams to be wary of selecting him.
However, Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol was more than happy to find Robinson in the fifth round. “I’m really fired up that we were able to get Alton [Robinson] where we got him,” coach Pete Carroll said after the draft. “He’s got the ability and the production to do stuff like guys that were picked quite a bit higher. We were fortunate to get that done.”
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein believes Robinson could outplay his draft slotting and become a valuable member of the Seahawks for years to come. He named the Syracuse standout one of his three favorite picks in the fifth round.
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) April 26, 2020
Sterling Hofrichter, P, 7th round to the Atlanta Falcons
Hofrichter received All-America honors from seven different selectors in 2019 and was one of the three finalists for the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. He ranked third in the FBS in net average (43.03) and led the ACC in touchback percentage (2.9). Hofrichter closed his career as Syracuse’s all-time leader in punting yardage (11,651). Additionally, he’s the only player in program history to earn multiple All-ACC First Team honors (2018, 2019).
The three-time Syracuse captain joins a team that saw four punters take at least six punts in 2019. Ryan Allen, who was signed midseason and appeared in eight games last year, is the only other punter on Atlanta’s roster.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn raved about Hofrichter’s technique and tendency to limit lengthy punt returns. At Syracuse, 41.5% of his 270 career punts were caught for a fair catch, including a career-high 52.2% of his 69 attempts this past fall. He also handled kick-off duties for the Orange.
Kendall Coleman, DE, to the Indianapolis Colts
In 44 career games, Coleman totaled 137 tackles (70 solos), 26.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks for the Orange.
Ahead of the draft, Coleman trained with former Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowler and 2013 AFC Defensive Player of the Year Robert Mathis, who is currently working with the Colts as a pass-rush consultant. Coleman is also an Indianapolis native, attending Cathedral High School.
The Colts were No. 15 in the NFL in sacks last season and lost Jabaal Sheard (4.5 sacks last year) in free agency.
All y’all NFL scouts on notice… stop playing with my protege @KendallColeman_ simply put… if you scared of having a Passrusher (1ST) that has the football IQ to play Sam, Rush, DE, and spinner… go sit down. #HumanCheatCode #PlugNPlay pic.twitter.com/XLfQqaxrSX
— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) April 22, 2020
Trishton Jackson, WR, to the Los Angeles Rams
Jackson will join a wide receiving corps in Los Angeles that includes Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds. The Rams recently traded veteran receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans but also spent a second-rounder on LSU wideout Van Jefferson.
Jackson, who transferred from Michigan State to Syracuse after his sophomore year, had 66 catches for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Orange last year as a redshirt junior.
At the NFL combine, Jackson ran an unofficial 4.5-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 36-inch vertical. He logged five 100-yard games for Syracuse.
Sean Riley, WR, to the New England Patriots
Riley finished his career third all-time at Syracuse with 4,358 all-purpose yards (97 rushing, 1,265 receiving, 2,996 return) and first in all-purpose yards per play (14.6). In addition, Riley also excelled on special teams. He returned 50 punts for 563 yards with one touchdown to close his career No. 8 on the Syracuse record list for most punts returned and No. 9 in yardage, and well as blocking two punts.
The Patriots didn’t draft any wide receivers and were already relatively thin at the position entering the draft, giving Riley a chance to compete for a spot on the Patriots roster. He also served as the primary kickoff return man for four seasons and was a two-year starter at slot receiver. As a wide receiver, Riley caught 119 passes for 1,265 yards and four touchdowns at Syracuse.
Evan Adams, G, to the Baltimore Ravens
After redshirting his first season with the Orange, Adams started his last four years for the Orange, three as a right guard, and one as a left guard in his final season. In his career, he played 3,464 snaps over his four seasons and was credited with 146 knockdown blocks.
He will compete with two drafted offensive linemen, tackle Tyre Phillips from Mississippi State, and guard Ben Bredeson from Michigan.