FCS NFL Draft Expert Roundtable: 2022 HBCU Class


The dwindling number of HBCU players selected in the NFL Draft over time has become a hot topic in schools, and it peaked after none were taken in the league’s seven-round event. ‘last year.

In response, the first HBCU Legacy Bowl, a post-season All-Star Game, and several new combinations were held this year to help shine a spotlight on players.

Heading into the April 28-30 draft, the analyst brought in a panel of experts who know the value of prospects coming from FCS – Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan and CBSSportsHQ, ESPN’s Jordan Reid and Ric Serritella from NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated. For five days this week, we’re going through their brains on how the FCS class ranks in this year’s NFL Draft.

Our fourth question concerns the main draft perspectives coming from the FCS HBCU programs:

Attention to HBCU programs has been high recently, although they did not have a preliminary selection last year. Can you assess this year’s top HBCU prospects?

Emory Hunt (@FBallGameplan), Football Gameplan / CBSSportsHQ

“What a great year of HBCU prospects. I think we might see four guys drafted this cycle from the (FCS) HBCU ranks: South offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter, Florida A&M defensive back Markquese Bell, South Carolina State cornerback Decobie Durant and Jackson State linebacker James Houston No wonder three of the four guys – Carter, Durant and Bell – had really good NFL Combine workouts in addition of their performances at the Senior, East-West Shrine and NFLPA Bowls, respectively. Houston was a stallion in both the NFLPA Bowl and the Shrine Bowl, demonstrating his versatility as an off-ball linebacker. He arguably should have won the title of Defensive MVP at the Shrine Bowl.

“We talked about Aqeel Glass (Alabama A&M) possibly being another drafted player, which would be the first HBCU QB taken since the late Tavaris Jackson in 2006. There are a host of players who will end up on NFL rosters. from HBCUs. I would venture to say at least 10 coming from the HBCU FCS ranks. Keep an eye out for some wide receivers like Alabama A&M’s Dee Anderson, Delaware State’s Trey Gross and Southern’s Marquis McClain.


Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid), ESPN

“As you know, I’m high on South Carolina State cornerback Decobie Durant and how much he’s helped himself this year, but there are others worth mentioning who have a chance to end the HBCU rookie drought. With Durant in the fourth or fifth round, FCS possibilities include Florida A&M safety Markquese Bell in the fourth or fifth round and South interior offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter in the sixth or seventh round. Alabama A&M QB Aqeel Glass has a chance, but is more likely a priority free agent.

Ric Serritella (@RicSerritella), NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated

“The HBCU Legacy Bowl in New Orleans was a great platform for HBCU prospects to showcase their skills. Several notable players in attendance are lucky enough to have their names called late in the 2022 draft. Alabama A&M wideout Dee Anderson often found himself on the receiving end of fellow NFL draft prospect and teammate Aqeel Glass. Both players have an outside shot to hear their names called late on Day 3, with Anderson drawing many comparisons to Darren Waller (Las Vegas Raiders) as a possible tight final conversion prospect.

“Linebacker James Houston (of Jackson State) can line up at any second-tier position. He was impressive in both the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the East-West Shrine Bowl, where he showed off some of his off-ball skills. The lack of prototypical size may prevent it from being drafted, but it does possess “doing” traits.

“Who is HBCU’s top 2022 NFL Draft prospect? That accolade would seem to belong to (Norfolk State defensive end) De’Shaan Dixon, who dazzled during the All-Star Tour and projects himself as a strong mid-term pick.


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