In terms of NFL caliber talent, the Syracuse Orangemen had two senior prospects worthy of early round consideration: defensive tackle Arthur Jones and wide receiver Mike Williams.
Williams stunned the school and scouts, alike, with his decision to quit the team two weeks ago. Now, the Orange will have to do without Jones, as well, as the university announced Monday night that Jones had torn the lateral meniscus in his left knee in the loss to Pittsburgh, Saturday, ending his collegiate career.
The meniscus tear, on its own isn't necessarily a huge concern for scouts. Depending on the location and severity of the tear, Jones may not even need to undergo surgery. If the injury does require surgery, it will be arthroscopic in nature and isn't expected to keep Jones from participating in rookie mini camps, or perhaps even the Combine.
Jones has been prone to injuries throughout his career, however, which will certainly give teams reason to pause on draft day. Of most concern is the fact that Jones' injuries have become more serious and occurred more frequently as his career has gone on. Jones tore his pectoral muscle during a February workout and missed time earlier this season with a "upper leg injury."
Jones is a versatile, talented defender that ordinarily would receive strong first round consideration. Considering the injuries and the relative depth along the defensive line, however, his status is much cloudier.
Jones leaves Syracuse with 38.5 career tackles for loss -- the most by a defensive tackle in Orange history. He was Syracuse's lone First-Team Big-East selection in 2008.