(Stats Perform) – The most NFL Draft picks in FCS college football during the 2010s were selected out of CAA Football.
The 28 picks included four in the top 100, the highest in 2011 when Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana went to the Indianapolis Colts in the second round at No. 49 overall.
Several CAA players could be selected in this week’s seven-round draft, but the 12-team conference will be even busier after the draft Saturday night, when undrafted free agent commitments are made faster than the draft picks.
In small-school draft expert Josh Buchanan’s rankings for DraftScout, he has 17 CAA players in his top 55 FCS prospects – nearly twice as many as the next-highest conference and all with a draftable grade or high priority free agent status.
Rhode Island wide receiver Isaiah Coulter, an underclassman, is rated by most services as the top CAA prospect. He could become URI’s first draft pick since 1986, although teammates Aaron Parker, also a wide receiver and Coulter’s cousin, and Kyle Murphy, an offensive guard, help headline the CAA contingent. James Madison defensive end Ron’Dell Carter Is ranked second among CAA players by DraftScout.
“This year’s group is especially intriguing, starting with the Rhode Island trio,” said Kyle Kensing, who covers the CAA for FloFootball. “Aaron Parker, in particular, is someone who has legit star potential. That a team like URI has three players who could be selected, and the Rams finished last in the Colonial last season, speaks to the league’s depth of talent.”
Others ranked with at least PFA status are James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci, tight end Dylan Stapleton, wide receivers Riley Stapleton and Brandon Polk and outside linebacker John Daka; Maine cornerback Manny Patterson and wide receiver Earnest Edwards; Albany outside linebacker Eli Mencer and wide receiver Juwan Green; Towson quarterback Tom Flacco; Stony Brook cornerback Gavin Heslop; William & Mary defensive tackle Bill Murray; and Elon cornerback Greg Liggs Jr.