KINGSTON, R.I. - For the first time since 1986, Rhode Island had a player selected in the NFL Draft, as wide receiver Isaiah Coulter was taken by the Houston Texans in the fifth round Saturday afternoon.
Coulter was the 171st player selected overall in the draft. He was the first offensive skill position taken by the Texans, who earlier in the draft had taken defensive tackle Ross Blacklock (TCU), edge rusher Jonathan Greenard (Florida), tackle Charlie Heck (North Carolina) and cornerback John Reid (Penn State).
As a junior, Coulter earned CAA Football Second-Team All-Conference honors after catching 71 passes for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns. He was just the seventh player in program history to reach 1,000 yards in a single season. Coulter also was fourth with 86.6 receiving yards per contest, and he averaged 14.4 yards per catch.
In just three seasons, Coulter finished ninth in program history with his 1,855 receiving yards.
Coulter was one of two underclassmen at the FCS level to be invited to the NFL Combine, and he made the most of the opportunity. He ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash. That mark was tied for 10th among receivers with the Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Miami's Jeff Thomas.
Another former Rhode Island player was selected just a few spots ahead of Coulter. Kicker Justin Rohrwasser was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round with the 159th pick. Rohrwasser - who led the Rams in scoring in 2015 and 2016 - was the first kicker taken. He spent 2017-19 at Marshall, where he was 18-of-21 on field goal attempts in 2019, including a long of 53 yards. In two seasons with Rhode Island, Rohrwasser was 15-for-20 on field goal attempts and 39-of-40 on extra points.
Before Saturday, the last time a Rhode Island player was taken in the NFL Draft was in 1986, when Bob White went to the New York Jets with the 189th pick in the seventh round.