FCS off to bad start heading toward 2021 NFL Draft
- Big Ten to only play conference games
- Ivy League suspends all fall sports
- Pandemic tabled Harbaugh, Michigan talks
- NC State says 5 test positive for virus
- Florida, NC State to play in 2026, 2032
By CRAIG HALEY
(Stats Perform) - The FCS class of prospects that's headed toward the 2021 NFL Draft is being blown up before it basically starts to come together.
Rhode Island wide receiver Isaiah Coulter and Monmouth running back Pete Guerriero would have been leading candidates, but they declared for the 2020 draft after their junior season. An influx of grad transfers, most notably North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox to LSU - he would have been considered the No. 1 FCS prospect - have hurt the potential class.
Other key losses to grad transfers include tight end Briley Moore (Northern Iowa to Kansas State), defensive end Justus Reed (Youngstown State to Virginia Tech) and center Blake Jeresaty (Wofford to Illinois).
"It is still too early, but if we see single-digit FCS draftees in 2021, we know the transfer portal and early entries are the cause," small school draft expert Josh Buchanan said. "Three of my early top five FCS players (Cox, Coulter and Guerriero) declared for the NFL Draft or transferred."
The FCS draft totals of the last two years were much lower than in many past years - 13 last year and an all-time low six in this year's draft, which concluded Saturday night.
Buchanan said draft prospect lists for next year are just developing. Some of his FCS seniors to watch are North Dakota State offensive tackle Dillon Radunz, Illinois State offensive tackle Drew Himmelman, South Dakota State wide receiver Cade Johnson, Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen, Montana linebacker Jace Lewis and Villanova wide receiver Changa Hodge.
Updated April 26, 2020