It’s that time of year again. Rankings are great, especially those that pit W&M against fellow CAA rivals; with the NFL season in full swing, it was time to resurrect our CAA NFL rankings. When we last checked in on W&M football players pursuing professional careers this past summer, 6 were pursuing NFL careers, and 3 were pursuing careers abroad (and one in the Arena Football League).
In all, the CAA is still very well represented in the NFL. The 12-team league, dubbed “the SEC of the FCS,” currently boasts 29 players on active NFL rosters, averaging just over 2 per program — though there is a pretty wide player distribution between CAA teams. For an FCS conference, it’s still pretty incredible. But enough talk, it’s time to see the rankings.
CAA Ranking: Players Currently In The NFL
1. Delaware: 6 Active Players — S Mike Adams (Panthers), TE Nick Boyle (Ravens), QB Joe Flacco (Ravens), DE Zach Kerr (Broncos), DT Bilal Nichols (Bears), LB Paul Worrilow (Eagles)
2. James Madison: 5 Active Players — TE Daniel Brown (Bears), S Raven Greene (Packers), OG Aaron Stinnie (Titans), OG Earl Watford (Browns), OT Josh Wells (Jaguars)
3. Villanova: 4 Active Players — LB Austin Calitro (Seahawks), OT Ben Ijalana (Jets), CB Trey Johnson (Steelers), LB Tanoh Kpassagnon (Chiefs)
4. William & Mary: 3 Active Players — S DeAndre Houston-Carson (Bears), LS Luke Rhodes (Colts), CB B.W. Webb (Giants)
4. Richmond: 3 Active Players — QB Kyle Lauletta (Giants), OG Alex Light (Packers), DE Kerry Wynn (Giants)
4. Towson: 3 Active Players — OT Jermon Bushrod (Saints), S Jordan Dangerfield (Steelers), CB Tye Smith (Titans)
7. Maine: 2 Active Players — LB Trevor Bates (Lions), FB Patrick Ricard (Ravens)
8. New Hampshire: 1 Active Player — S Corey Graham (Eagles)
8. Stony Brook: 1 Active Player — TE Will Tye (Patriots)
8. Albany: 1 Active Player — TE Brian Parker (Broncos)
11/12. Rhode Island: 0 Active Players
11/12. Elon: 0 Active Players
Analysis: Position Breakdown
Below is the distribution of positions — i.e. which positions former CAA players are currently playing in the NFL.
- (5) Safety
- (4) Linebacker
- (4) Tight End
- (3) Cornerback
- (3) Offensive Guard
- (3) Offensive Tackle
- (2) Quarterback
- (2) Defensive End
- (1) Full Back
- (1) Defensive Tackle
- (1) Long Snapper
- (0) Wide Receiver
- (0) Running Back
- (0) Center
As one can glean from the numbers above, the CAA has proven itself to be a very good producer of NFL-caliber safeties, linebackers, and tight ends. The conference also isn’t bad at cranking out cornerbacks and offensive linemen. As for the other positions, specifically along the defensive line, it is perhaps unsurprising that behemoth defensive linemen from the FBS (rather than the FCS) tend to get the most professional looks. It’s also interesting to note that there are currently 0 CAA running backs on NFL rosters — as the league tends to boast at least one in the professional ranks. But let’s not forget that this is just a snippet in time, only representing one year’s worth of data.
We hope you had as much fun reading this article as we had researching it. Here’s to an exciting second half of the CAA season, and good luck to all CAA players competing in the professional ranks. Make us proud!
LET’S GO TRIBE.