Colonial Athletic Association
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Greg Liggs, CB, Elon

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team FCS All-America honors and made 49 tackles with eight interceptions and five pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 65 tackles (2.5 for loss) with four INTs and nine PBUs as a junior.

Positives: Opportunistic cornerback with solid ball skills. Tracks the pass in the air, effectively adjusts to defend the throw and displays good hands for the interception.

Keeps the action in front of him and works well with safeties over the middle of the field. Engages receivers at the line of scrimmage, quickly flips his hips and keeps the action in front of him. Works to get off blocks and make plays up the field.

Negatives: Deep speed is an issue. Lacks strength and gets handled by blocks. Does not show an explosive burst to the ball out of his plant.

Analysis: Liggs put up terrific numbers at Elon and was a solid cornerback who was rarely challenged by opponents. He comes with speed deficiencies, but he has enough ability to be used in a zone system where he faces the action.

Ron’Dell Carter, DE, James Madison

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Rutgers who started his final two seasons at James Madison. Earned First Team FCS All-America and Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year honors and made 66 tackles (27 for loss) with 12 sacks as a senior in 2019. Earned First Team All-CAA honors and made 58 tackles (13 for loss) with 7.5 sacks as a junior.

Positives: Explosive first-step lineman who plays with terrific fundamentals. Fires off the snap, breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself. Keeps his feet moving, displays solid strength at the point of attack and plays with outstanding pad level.

Moves well about the field, easily changes direction and makes plays in space. Tenacious, goes hard and shows a good head for the ball. Fluidly gets down the line of scrimmage and shows ability in pursuit.

Negatives: Must develop more moves with his hands to disengage from blocks. Lacks bulk, possesses average strength at the point of attack and gets handled by blockers.

Analysis: Carter was a solid small-school defensive lineman who entered the season as a fringe late-round selection, but he comes with average size and speed for the next level. He’s a potential backup defensive end for a team that keeps eight linemen.

John Daka, DE, James Madison

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Second Team FCS All-America honors and made 67 tackles (28 for loss) with 16.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Earned Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 47 tackles (17 for loss) with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles as a junior.

Positives: Explosive small-school pass rusher with a high upside. Plays with terrific pad level, balance and body control. Forceful up the field, builds a lot of momentum and can be tough to stop. Shows good awareness and gives outstanding effort.

Possesses a closing burst and moves quickly in any direction. Nifty, agile and effective in lateral pursuit. Breaks down well, fights with his hands and shows the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack. Possesses tremendous quickness, explosion and speed.

Negatives: Primarily used up the field at James Madison. Not a big-bodied defensive end and struggles to get off blocks. Taken from the action by opposing tight ends.

Analysis: Daka was a pass-rushing nightmare for opponents who constantly got behind the line of scrimmage and impacted games with big plays. He’s a sensational athlete who I expect to be used at outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, and he’ll make his mark as a situational pass rusher this season.

Ben DiNucci, QB, James Madison

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Pittsburgh who started both his seasons at James Madison. Earned Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year honors and completed 70.9 percent of his passes for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdowns with six interceptions as a senior in 2019. Earned Third Team All-CAA honors and completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 2,275 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions as a junior.

Positives: Well-rounded quarterback with a solid game. Patient in the pocket, goes through progressions and mostly makes good decisions. Knows where receivers are the field, spreads the ball around and possesses a quick release. Remains poised under the rush, buys as much time as necessary and keeps his eyes downfield.

Displays timing on throws and does not make pass catchers wait for the ball to arrive. Displays outstanding wherewithal and a feel for what’s happening on the field. Takes off upfield when nothing is available and doesn’t force the ball to covered targets.

Negatives: Possesses an adequate arm and really cannot rifle the ball or power passes into targets. Throws sail high of the mark when he tries to put extra power on the ball.

Analysis: DiNucci showed tremendous progress the past two seasons, and he’s a terrific game manager with a feel for the quarterback position. Although he wasn’t graded by scouts entering the season, DiNucci possesses the physical and mental skills necessary to be a third quarterback at the next level.

Dylan Stapleton, TE, James Madison

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Slippery Rock who started both his seasons at James Madison. Earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and caught 35 passes for 426 yards and one touchdown as a senior in 2019. Made 19 catches for 182 yards and one touchdown as a junior.

Positives: Adequately sized tight end with a well-rounded game. Strong pass catcher who adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception in stride. Reliable target who keeps the play in bounds and makes a lot of athletic receptions. Sets with a wide base, bends his knees and blocks with a nasty attitude. Gives effort after the catch and makes defenders bounce off him.

Negatives: Possesses average speed and can’t split the seam. Not a big-bodied tight end.

Analysis: Stapleton was not mentioned by scouts entering the season, but he possesses enough pass-catching and blocking ability to get consideration as a third tight end at the next level.

Riley Stapleton, TE, James Madison 

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who caught 65 passes for 788 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior in 2019. Earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 62 catches for 710 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

Positives: Large possession receiver who projects as a move tight end at the next level. Smart, displays terrific vision and follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target. Plays with both focus and concentration, comes away with the difficult catch when defenders are draped on him and plays big, strong football.

Sturdy target who extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame and takes a pounding but holds onto the throw. Terrific downfield blocker who opens up the running lanes for ball carriers.

Negatives: Displays limited quickness for a receiver. Plays to one speed and isn’t a vertical pass catcher. Off-field issues must be checked out.

Analysis: Stapleton was a force for James Madison and is a reliable pass catcher who plays tough, smart football. He lacks the speed and quickness to play wideout at the next level, but he could be a very good move tight end based on his size and style.

Manny Patterson, CB, Maine

Career Snapshot: Four-year starter who earned First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in each of his final two seasons at Maine. Made 29 tackles with five pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 27 tackles with one interception and 14 pass breakups as a junior. Earned Second Team All-CAA honors and made 14 tackles with 17 PBUs as a sophomore.

Positives: Athletic cornerback with solid ball skills. Fluid in his backpedal, quickly flips his hips and engages receivers throughout the route. Instinctive, feisty and shows good awareness. Breaks down well, works his hands to get off blocks and gives effort against the run. Plays to his 40 time and has an explosive burst to the ball.

Negatives: Slow to get his head back around to locate the ball in the air and faceguards too much. Small, loses out in battles and struggles to bring opponents down at the point of attack. Missed a lot of time due to injury last season

Analysis: Patterson was graded as a potential late-round selection entering the season, but injury sidelined him and stunted his development. He possesses the style and skills be used backed off the line of scrimmage, and Patterson can play over the slot receiver as well as on special teams.

Kayon Whitaker, DE, Maine

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in each of his final two seasons at Maine. Made 65 tackles (20 for loss) with nine sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior in 2019. Made 28 tackles (eight for loss) with 7.5 sacks as a junior. Earned Third Team All-CAA honors and made 65 tackles (13 for loss) with 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as a sophomore.

Positives: Tough, hard-working defensive front-seven prospect who gets the most from his ability. Plays with terrific pad level, works his hands throughout the action and can bend off the edge. Agile, fires off the snap with a terrific first step and gets depth on pass drops on zone blitzes. Relentless and fights to make plays.

Negatives: Average athlete with limited speed and quickness. Gets tied up at the point by a single blocker and controlled by opponents.

Analysis: Whitaker is a tough, hard-working player, but he lacks the pure athleticism, size and speed for the next level. He’s a situational pass rusher who will have to earn his wage on special teams.

Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and caught 72 passes for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior in 2019. Made 42 catches for 604 yards and three TDs as a sophomore.

Positives: Long, agile receiver with reliable hands. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, displays solid hand-eye coordination and consistently makes the catch in stride. Displays timing and uses his frame to shield away defenders and protect the pass. Possesses soft hands and displays the ability to snatch the ball from the air.

Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical and comes away with the difficult catch. Keeps the play in bounds after the catch and works to pick up positive yardage. Makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception in a battle.

Negatives: More of a one-speed receiver who does not play to his 40 time. Did not run a complicated route tree. Slow out of breaks.

Analysis: Many were surprised when Coulter entered the draft, but he’s a reliable pass catcher with excellent length and above-average speed. He must improve his route running, but Coulter has enough ability to develop into a fourth receiver at the next level.

Kyle Murphy, G, Rhode Island

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-CAA honors in each of his final two seasons at Rhode Island. Started all but one game at left tackle in 2018 and 2019, with the other start coming at center. Made nine starts at left guard and five at right tackle during his first two seasons with the Rams.

Positives: Athletic blocker with big upside. Is fundamentally sound who bends his knees and blocks with incredible leverage. Sets with a wide base, effectively uses his hands and stays square. Agile, fires off the snap into blocks and shows the ability to adjust to the blitz or redirect on the move. Murphy is fluid on his feet, keeps his head on a swivel, and displays outstanding vision as a blocker.

Negatives: Lacks bulk and strength and struggles to control blocks. Needs a running start and can be run over by larger opponents.

Analysis: Murphy was a consistent blocker at Rhode Island and went on to have a terrific week of practice during the Shrine Bowl. He’s a zone-blocking lineman who will need a year in an NFL training camp, but he’ll only get better as he physically matures. Murphy could eventually develop into a starter at the next level.

Aaron Parker, WR, Rhode Island

Career Snapshot: Four-year starter who earned First Team FCS All-America honors and caught 81 passes for 1,224 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in 2019. Earned First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 61 catches for 972 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. Earned Second Team All-CAA honors and made 51 receptions for 823 yards and seven TDs as a sophomore.

Positives: Nice-sized receiver who flashes game-controlling ability. Gets vertical, times his pass receptions and competes to come away with the difficult catch. Settles into the open spot of the defense, extends his hands and offers the quarterback a target. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and displays strong hands with the ability to pluck the ball from the air. Consistent hands catcher who makes the difficult reception in a crowd.

Negatives: Drops easy throws on occasion. Displays average quickness and marginal speed.

Analysis: Parker is a one-speed receiver with solid size and enough pass-catching skill to make a roster as a fifth receiver.

Brandon Feamster, CB, Richmond

Career Snapshot: Graduate transfer from Duke who started his lone season at Richmond. Made 59 tackles (3.5 for loss) with three sacks, one interception and six pass breakups as a senior in 2019. One-year starter at Duke who made 37 tackles (two for loss) with one interception and four pass breakups as a junior.

Graduate transfer from Duke who started his lone season at Richmond. Made 59 tackles (3.5 for loss) with three sacks, one interception and six pass breakups as a senior in 2019. One-year starter at Duke who made 37 tackles (two for loss) with one interception and four pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Physical cornerback with outstanding size. Shows good recognition, stays with assignments and locates the pass in the air. Mixes it up with opponents throughout the route, uses his large frame as an advantage and physically beats down opponents to defend the throw. Possesses solid ball skills and sticks on the receiver’s hip out of breaks. Shows a nice move to the throw and works to make plays.

Negatives: Slow in transition off the line. Very quick out of his backpedal and prefers to side shuffle downfield, which hurts his ability to break to the throw.

Analysis: Feamster possesses the size, physicality and ball skills to line up in zone coverage as well as play special teams.

Gavin Heslop, CB, Stony Brook

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 52 tackles (8.5 for loss) with 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and eight pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Earned Second Team All-CAA honors and made 59 tackles (four for loss) with one sack and 10 pass breakups as a junior. Made 72 tackles (8.5 for loss) with one sack, one forced fumble and 11 PBUs as a sophomore.

Positives: Aggressive corner with outstanding size. Keeps the action in front of him, plays within himself and rarely gets challenged by opposing quarterbacks. Battles receivers throughout the route, shows an explosive burst to the ball and physically beats down opponents to defend passes. Strong and defeats blocks to make plays up the field against the run.

Negatives: Deep speed is a concern. Slow to get his head back around to locate the pass in the air and faceguards too much.

Analysis: Heslop entered the season highly regarded in the scouting community and possesses the size and physicality to line up as a zone corner and special-teams player. A move inside to safety is not out of the question for Heslop.

Tom Flacco, QB, Towson

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Rutgers who started both his seasons at Towson. Earned Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year honors, completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,251 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions and rushed for 742 yards and four TDs as a junior in 2018. Earned Second Team All-CAA honors and completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 2,831 yards and 22 touchdowns with six INTs as a senior. Spent two years at Western Michigan before he transferred to Rutgers after the 2016 season.

Positives: Patient, poised quarterback with a next-level arm. Effectively commands and controls the offense and knows where targets are on the field. Puts the ball in front of pass catchers and lets them run to the throw. Keeps his feet active, sidesteps pass rushers to keep plays alive and shows elusiveness.

Possesses a quick release, puts speed on throws and quickly gets passes to the intended target. Easily gets outside the pocket to escape the rush and turns it upfield when necessary to pick up yardage with his legs. Effectively sets up screen throws.

Negatives: Stares down the primary target. Slow to move his head to secondary receivers. Forces the ball to covered targets. Can be all over the place with throws.

Analysis: Though not as physically gifted as his older brother Joe, Flacco comes with enough size and arm strength to make an NFL roster, but he must improve the nuances of the quarterback position to have any shot to get out of camp this summer.

Shane Leatherbury, WR, Towson

Career Snapshot: Junior-college transfer who started his final two seasons at Towson. Earned First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 67 catches for 885 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in 2018. Earned Second Team All-CAA honors and caught 52 passes for 667 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.

Positives: Quick, surehanded receiver who can also double as a return specialist. Runs solid routes, separates from defenders and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Extends and exposes himself to come away with the difficult catch. Makes the reception in stride with his hands. Competes to come away with the contested grab and gives effort as a blocker.

Negatives: Small and loses out in battles. Lacks deep burst and a second gear.

Analysis: Leatherbury is a reliable pass catcher who’s more quick than fast, but he could line up as a slot receiver and punt returner on Sundays.

Keon Paye, OLB, Towson

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 43 tackles (6.5 for loss) with one sack, five interceptions and four pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 74 tackles (five for loss) with two INTs and two PBUs as a junior.

Positives: Safety-sized linebacker who shows terrific athleticism. Stays with assignments, remains disciplined and breaks down well. Forceful up the field, displays outstanding movement skills and has a closing burst. Gets depth on pass drops, effectively reads and diagnoses the action and covers a lot of area on the field.

Negatives: Lacks size and gets handled by blocks. Drag-down tackler.

Analysis: Paye is a solid run-and-chase linebacker who stands out in pursuit and can also play on coverage units.

Drew Wiley, OLB, Villanova

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 59 tackles (15 for loss) with 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and six pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 55 tackles (9.5 for loss) with 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception and two pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Athletic college linebacker who may change positions at the next level. Breaks down well, stays with assignments and does not bite on play-action passes. Easily moves about the field and displays athleticism. Quick and very explosive. Forceful up the field and makes most of his plays in the box.

Negatives: Rotated in and out of the lineup last season. Displays marginal force on the blitz.

Analysis: Wiley possesses the size and speed to play at the next level, but he never showed a complete game on at linebacker. He was tested at fullback during his pro-day workout and caught the ball out of the backfield exceptionally well. Wiley possesses the size and seemingly has the ability to line up as a west coast fullback.

Zay Laster, S, William and Mary

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and made 65 tackles (1.5 for loss) with four interceptions and five pass breakups as a junior in 2018. Made 72 tackles (2.5 for loss) with three INTs and 11 pass breakups as a senior.

Positives: Physically imposing safety with solid instincts. Quick to read and diagnose the action, keeps plays in front of him and works well with cornerbacks. Strong and beats down receivers to defend the throw. Solid open-field tackler who is very active against the run.

Negatives: Doesn’t display great range and possesses limited long speed. Late to the flanks.

Analysis: Laster was a terrific defensive back at the small-school level and projects as a traditional strong safety who can also line up on coverage units.

Bill Murray, DT, William and Mary

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in each of his final two seasons at William & Mary. Made 46 tackles (11.5 for loss) with six sacks and a Division I-leading four blocked kicks as a senior in 2019. Made 48 tackles (9.5 for loss) with 4.5 sacks and three pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Tough, instinctive interior defensive lineman who gets the most from his ability. Possesses terrific first-step quickness and shows power in his lower body and the ability to bull rush blockers off the line of scrimmage. Effective with his hands, keeps his feet moving and can be tough to stop or impossible to move off the point. Possesses good change-of-direction ability and solid movement skills. Commands double-team blocks and holds the point.

Negatives: More of a gap occupier than a playmaker. Stiff. Has a tendency to get tall as the play proceeds.

Analysis: Murray possesses the size and athleticism to make a roster as a rotational defensive tackle, although he must improve his pad level and consistently play with leverage.

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