Scouting reports for 2021 NFL Draft prospects from the Conference USA (C-USA) from Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. To view overall and positional rankings, visit and bookmark Pauline’s Draft Board. Please note that the links below will open in a new tab.
Teams covered in this 2021 Conference USA Scouting Report
Charlotte 49ers, FIU Panthers, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Charlotte 49ers
Aaron McAllister NFL Draft Scouting Report | Running Back
Positives: Rotational ball carrier who saw limited starting action at Charlotte. Instinctive back with marginal physical skills. Displays good vision, has a burst through the hole, and runs north and south. Quickly cuts back against the grain without losing momentum, keeps his feet moving, and works runs. Patiently waits for blocks to develop and helps the quarterback sell ball fakes.
Negatives: Primarily a backup throughout his college career. Does not break many tackles or pick up yardage off initial contact despite his size. Plays to one speed.
Analysis: McAllister was productive handling the ball for Charlotte, though he was more of a backup. He possesses solid size but has an undeveloped game that he will need to develop on a practice squad.
Ben DeLuca NFL Draft Scouting Report | Cornerback
Positives: Four-year starter who was one of the top tacklers at Charlotte. Instinctive, aggressive, and goes hard after opponents. Keeps the action in front of him and remains disciplined. Quickly picks up coverage assignments and displays a solid burst to the ball.
Negatives: Plays to his 40-time and does not show the ability to recover. Possesses an average burst out of his plant.
Analysis: DeLuca is a terrific football player but an average athlete with limited upside. He possesses a great head for the ball and could make it as a dime back if he plays well on special teams.
Jaelin Fisher NFL Draft Scouting Report | Center
Positives: Three-year starting center at Charlotte. Undersized blocker who gets the most from his ability. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and stays square. Fires off the snap, keeps his feet moving, and keeps his head on a swivel. Terrific position blocker who works through the whistle. Outstanding with the shotgun snap.
Negatives: Lacks a dominant base and gets pushed back into the pocket. Overextends into blocks. Lacks great footwork in space and cannot slide.
Analysis: Fisher was productive and durable at Charlotte but lacks size and upside.
Romeo McKnight NFL Draft Scouting Report | Defensive End
Positives: Illinois State transfer who started five games for Charlotte last season. Hard-working defender with growth potential. Easily changes direction, nicely redirects, and shows the ability to make plays in space. Rarely off his feet, strong for his size, and plays with good lean. Nicely slides down the line of scrimmage and gives effort defending the run. Breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself.
Negatives: Lacks bulk and gets controlled at the point by a single blocker. Ineffective in pursuit and really struggles to get out to the sidelines. Average first-step quickness out of a three-point stance.
Analysis: McKnight has a nice build but must get bigger and stronger and develop into a complete defensive end.
Tyriq Harris NFL Draft Scouting Report | EDGE
Positives: Four-year starter whose career was interrupted by injury. Quick off the snap, plays with consistent pad level, and effectively uses his hands. Instinctive, immediately reads and diagnoses the action, and has good strength for his size. Used out of a three-point stance as well as standing over tackle. Fast off the edge, smooth moving to every area of the field, and displays good change-of-direction skills.
Negatives: Easily out-positioned by a single blocker. An average athlete who does not time very well.
Analysis: Harris was a consistent producer for Charlotte but lacks upside and comes with limitations. He projects as a situational pass rusher who lines up at defensive end or standing over tackle.
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Florida International Panthers
Alexy Jean-Baptiste NFL Draft Scouting Report | EDGE
Positives: Arkansas transfer who played just two games at FIU last year. Fluid, agile defensive front-seven prospect with a large upside. Plays with good pad level, possesses outstanding quickness, and fluidly moves about the field. Easily changes direction and displays a burst of speed.
Negatives: Primarily came out of a three-point stance and gets easily out-positioned by a single blocker. Marginally productive throughout his college career.
Analysis: Jean-Baptiste was a college defensive end but possesses the size and speed to play linebacker in the NFL. He never developed at one single position and is still rough around the edges, but he should be given practice-squad consideration.
D’Antne Demery NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Junior college transfer who started the past three seasons. Played in two games last year before being shelved the rest of the year with injury. Large blocker who is best in a small area. Patient, works to stays square, and makes outstanding use of angles. Correctly places his hands into opponents, works blocks, and turns defenders from the action then seals them from the play. Anchors in pass protection.
Negatives: Doesn’t bend his knees and lacks footwork off the edge. Struggles to adjust.
Analysis: Demery was a solid left tackle for Florida International, but he projects to the right side and may even move inside to guard. He possesses size as well as growth potential and should be considered for a practice squad if he’s healthy.
Richard Dames NFL Draft Scouting Report | Safety
Positives: Instinctive, hard-working safety who led Florida International in tackles last season and started for two years. Quick to read and diagnose, effective backed off the line of scrimmage, and displays solid range. Takes proper angles to the action, possesses a burst of speed, and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Squares and wraps up tackling.
Negatives: Easily blocked from the action. Plays to one speed and has average size. Not a strong tackler and allows opponents to pick up yardage off initial contact.
Analysis: Dames was a very good college safety the past two years but lacks the measurables for the next level.
Shemar Thornton NFL Draft Scouting Report | Wide Receiver
Positives: Two-year starter who played just a single game last season after a tremendous junior campaign. Undersized receiver with next-level play speed and reliable hands. Comes back to the ball to make himself an available target, effectively uses his frame, and snatches the ball from the air with his hands.
Quickly gets in and out of breaks, gets vertical, and exposes himself to the big hit. Slippery, elusive, and effective running after the catch. Creates his own yardage and displays a short burst.
Negatives: Small and struggles in battles. Lacks a true second gear and deep speed.
Analysis: Thornton flashed big-time ability in 2019 but was limited to just a single game last year. He’s a slot receiver with return ability who should get practice-squad consideration.
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Adrian Hardy NFL Draft Scouting Report | Wide Receiver
Positives: Three-year starter who led Louisiana Tech in receiving as a sophomore. Sure-handed receiver with solid size. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and nicely times receptions. Possesses soft, consistent hands, and plucks the ball from the air. Comes back to the quarterback to make himself an available target and competes to come away with the difficult reception. Uses his hands to separate from defenders and gives effort blocking.
Negatives: Possesses average quickness and speed. Lazily releases off the line of scrimmage if he’s not involved in the action.
Analysis: Hardy was productive throughout his college career, and while he has nice length, he’s not a great athlete. Hardy could make it as a fifth receiver, but he must pick up the physicality of his game and do a better job separating from defenders.
Donavaughn Campbell NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Large, wide-bodied college left tackle who projects to guard in the NFL. Bends his knees, blocks with excellent pad level, and has a thick build. Gets his hands into opponents and stays square. Easily controls defenders and turns them from the action. Keeps his head on a swivel, looks for someone to hit, and gets good fits on defenders blocking in motion. Patient in pass protection, does not overextend and controls opponents once engaged in a block. Jolts defenders with excellent hand punch and rides them from their angles of attack.
Negatives: Lacks footwork and lateral range. Struggles to adjust or redirect blocking in motion. Heavy-footed. Doesn’t get much movement run blocking.
Analysis: After transferring from LSU, Campbell put himself on the scouting radar with a terrific season at Louisiana Tech. He’s a power-gap guard who comes with upside.
Israel Tucker NFL Draft Scouting Report | Running Back
Positives: Underrated running back with the ability to create yardage. Patient, waits for blocks to develop, and finds the open lanes. Possesses a quick burst of speed through the hole that he turns on in a single step. Keeps his feet off the initial hit, works runs, and falls forward when tackled. Displays wiggle, bounces around defenders, and fluidly cuts back against the grain. Consistently runs north and south and drives his shoulders into defenders.
Negatives: Only occasionally used as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Not a great perimeter or corner ball carrier. Gives effort blocking but gets knocked off the ball and must improve his blocking strength.
Analysis: Tucker turned in a terrific campaign in 2020, and after not being graded by scouts coming into the season, presently stands as a priority free agent. He offers possibilities as a situational ball carrier at the next level and will help himself by displaying pass-catching skills in camp this summer.
Justin Henderson NFL Draft Scouting Report | Running Back
Positives: Community college transfer who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior. Hard-working, downhill ball carrier with average size. Patiently waits for blocks to develop, effectively uses them all around the field, and displays outstanding vision. Quickly locates the open lanes, runs with good lean, and keeps his feet moving. Does not go down without a fight and falls forward when tackled. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who extends his hands and makes the reception away from his frame.
Negatives: Displays limited quickness and speed in his game. Not a creative ball carrier and gets into trouble when he runs east and west.
Analysis: Henderson is a hard-charging ball carrier who is best between the tackles and running downhill. His pass-catching skill gives him an opportunity at the next level.