Parker, Murphy Join Coulter in NFL Ranks

Parker, Murphy Join Coulter in NFL Ranks

KINGSTON, R.I. - Wide receiver Aaron Parker and offensive lineman Kyle Murphy have officially joined NFL teams, as Parker is a member of the Dallas Cowboys and Murphy has signed with the New York Giants.

Both players took to social media to announce the moves Saturday after the 2020 NFL Draft concluded. The moves have subsequently been posted on each team's official websites this week.

Parker is one of 15 undrafted free agents to sign with the Cowboys. He is one of four rookie receivers to join Dallas after the draft. The Cowboys drafted Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb in the first round, and signed Parker, Mississippi State's Stephen Guidry and Texas A&M's Kendrick Rogers as undrafted free agents.

There will be some familiar faces for Parker in Dallas. James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci was drafted in the seventh round and his Dukes teammate, defensive end Ron'Dell Carter, was signed after the draft, putting three CAA Football alumni in the Cowboys' 22-player rookie class.

Parker led the CAA in receptions (81), receiving yards (1,224), receiving yards per game (102.0) and receptions per game (6.8) last fall. He was fourth in the country in total receiving yards and averaged 15.1 yards per catch. He also had nine touchdown catches, the last of which gave him 30 in his storied career for the Rams.

Murphy was one of two linemen to sign as undrafted free agents with the Giants, along with Louisville's Tyler Haycraft. New York also drafted three other linemen - Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas, Connecticut tackle Matt Peart and Oregon guard Shane Lemieux.

While at Rhode Island, Murphy was primarily a left tackle, though he also started games at left guard, center and right tackle over the course of his career. He projects as an interior lineman for the Giants.

Murphy was the anchor of the Rhode Island offensive line, starting 11 games at left tackle before missing the season finale with an injury. Also a team captain, Murphy was the primary reason the line allowed just 2.17 sacks per game despite team averaging a league-high 42 pass attempts per game. His blocking was a big reason Rhode Island was one of two teams in the league to top 3,500 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing.

He is the fourth Rhode Island lineman to sign with an NFL team in the last four years. Tyler Catalina (2016) signed with the Washington Redskins, Dave Steinmetz (2017) signed with the Miami Dolphins and Dino Boyd (2018) signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Steinmetz remains with the Texans, while Boyd is now with the Chicago Bears and Catalina is with the CFL's Ottawa RedBlacks.

It proved to be a banner year for Rhode Island. In addition to Parker and Murphy signing with teams, junior wide receiver Isaiah Coulter was drafted in the fifth round by the Houston Texans. Back in February, offensive lineman Kevin Lawrence signed with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, giving the Rams four players from the 2019 roster getting a shot at the next level. Former URI kicker Justin Rohrwasser - who was with the Rams in 2015-16 before transferring to Marshall - was drafted in the fifth round by the New England Patriots.

With five former Rams signing with professional teams, it is the most in one class for Rhode Island since 1986. That year, six URI players signed professional contracts. Tackle Bob White was drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round, and five others signed as undrafted free agents. Defensive backs Guy Carbone and Mike Cassidy signed with the New England Patriots; tight end Tony DiMaggio with the Cincinnati Bengals; quarterback Tom Ehrhardt with the New York Jets and wide receiver Dameon Reilly with the Indianapolis Colts.