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2022 All-HBCU Players First-Round NFL Mock Draft

HBCU Legends' first-round mock draft consists of all-HBCU players who fit NFL teams selecting from No. 1 to No. 32.

HBCU Legends' first-round mock draft consists of all-HBCU players who fit NFL teams selecting from No. 1 to No. 32.  The selections were based on the needs of the specific teams ahead of the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft.  

All HBCU Players Mock Draft (1)
James Houston

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: James Houston IV, DE/LB, Jackson State University

  • Needs: DE, WR, LB, OL, DT, S

The Jackson State announcer nicknamed him "The Problem" for a reason. Houston is a disruptive force on the gridiron. The intelligent and speedy linebacker created havoc for the quarterbacks during the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl games. My chart had Houston pressuring the QB approximately seven times in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game.

Houston ran a 4.67 seconds 40-yard dash at his Pro Day after adding a few pounds. The Florida native will make a fantastic addition for the Jaguars defense.

Houston is a playmaking linebacker. Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders had a defensive player who could go sideline to sideline making plays. Houston had 70 total and 52 solo tackles. It was hard to get past him as a running back. He had 24.5 tackles for a loss. He did a magnificent job of rushing the quarterback. He had 16.5 sacks last season.

His stellar play helped Jackson State win the SWAC and land a spot in the Celebration Bowl. He also played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. He's a big-time player who can play the run and the pass. He also knows how to pick his spots to get to the quarterback.

2. Detroit Lions: Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State

  • Needs: LB, QB, CB, WR, DE

Durant was a South Carolina State defense member that gave Jackson State's offense fits in the Celebration Bowl.

Durant is a shutdown corner. He has excellent speed being clocked at 4.38 seconds during the NFL Combine. Durant was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He had 37 total and 29 solo tackles. He led the conference with 14 passes defended.

His leadership and experience helped South Carolina State win the MEAC championship and the Celebration Bowl making the Bulldogs national HBCU champions. Durant's quickness, tackling ability, and cover skills make him a bright prospect.

Aqeel Glass - QB

3. Houston Texans: Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M University

  • Needs: QB, DE, OT, DT

New head coach Lovie Smith needs a brilliant signal-caller who is accurate and dependable. The 2-time Black College Player of the Year and two-time SWAC Offensive Player of the Year would fit into the offensive system of the Seahawks. Glass connecting with DK Metcalf will be a thing of beauty in 2022!

Glass had a terrific career at Alabama A&M. He received the Deacon Jones Trophy as the Black College Football Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He is one of the best signal-callers in all college football. Glass put together a tremendous season throwing for 3,568 yards along with 36 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last season.

Glass has great size. He can make all the throws. He has good patience and presence in the pocket. He completed 62.6 percent of his passes. He performed exceptionally well at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, finishing 9-of-11 for 141 yards and one TD. He had a good week at the HBCU Legacy Bowl.

Glass completed his career with 12,136 yards and 109 TDs, landing him in the top 15 among the best field generals in FCS (I-AA) history.

Jay Jackson-Williams

4. New York Jets: Jay Jackson-Williams, OT, Florida A&M University

  • Needs: OL, WR, DE, DB

The former Power 5 transfer ruled the Rattlers' offensive line as an All-SWAC performer for Coach Willie Simmons. Jackson-Williams stands 6-4 and 305 pounds, with an 85-inch wingspan - prototypical NFL offensive left tackle measurements.

In his rookie campaign, the Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was sacked an astounding 44 times. He needs protection, and Jackson-Williams has the talent to help New York for years to come.

Here's what Jackson-Williams share with me about why the NFL should draft him:

"36 6/8 inch arms, versatility. An understanding of leverage points, angles to the second level. Consistent and great footwork. Climb to the second level very well and engage blockers. I only played one season at the D1 level as a starter. I started 12 games last season and achieved all conference. I’m new to the position after playing defensive end at San Diego state, Grossmont college and offensive line from 2018-current. I actually started out as a wide receiver in high school. I’m an ascending offensive lineman that has only gotten better with experience at the position and far from my ceiling." Jackson-Williams

Markquese Bell

5. New York Giants: Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M University

  • Needs: S, DE, CB, LB, OL, WR

The young man is a future NFL superstar. His 4.45 speed at the NFL Scouting Combine cemented him as an NFL draftee. Coach Simmons' defensive leader is long and can punish an unexpecting wideout. Bell can get bigger, stronger, and faster in the right system. Scary!

Bell covered a lot of ground in the secondary for Florida A&M. He is one of the top hitters in the country. He had 95 total and 71 solo tackles. Bell is a great open field tackler. His speed and anticipation are big factors in his success.

He ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He showcased his skills against some major Division I FBS players in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Bell, an All-SWAC selection, played at a high-level last season.

Ja'Tyre Carter

6. Carolina Panthers: Ja'Tyre Carter, G, Southern University

  • Needs: QB, OL, RB, LB

You always look at the feet of a potential offensive lineman in writing an analysis. Well, Carter has quick feet and is very athletic. He had an outstanding SU Pro Day by running a 5.01 seconds 40-yard dash, jumping 34.5 inches vertical, and 9-3 foot broad jumps.

Carter has excellent footwork. He moves extremely well off the line. He has the size and quickness to be a good blocker in the run game. The All-SWAC performer should be a good fit for any team to bolster their ground attack.

Carter ran 5.13 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has good run and pass blocking skills. In addition to the Combine, he made a strong impression at the Senior Bowl.

Keenan Forbes

7. New York Giants (from Chicago Bears): Keenan Forbes, G, Florida A&M

  • Needs: S, DE, CB, LB, OL, WR

Forbes can be the enforcer along the offensive line that Zack Wilson needs. At 6-2, 333 pounds, Forbes is strong enough to handle business in the trenches. He'll be great on screens after running a 5.12-second 40-yard dash. At the FAMU Pro Day, the big fella had 25 reps! He has the strength that an interior offensive lineman must possess in the NFL.

Former NFL executive gave this analysis of Forbes after the HBCU Combine:

Enough said. The Rattler was a 2021 All-SWAC First Team selection. He's a great pass protector on an offensive line that allowed fourteen sacks during the regular season. Nothing and no one will get by or through Mr. Forbes.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dee Anderson, WR, Alabama A&M University

  • Needs: WR, LB, S, RB, DE, QB

Anderson has great hands, length, and is a smooth route runner. He was one of Glass' top receivers with 12 TDs in 2021 for Coach Maynor at Alabama A&M.

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The Bulldogs' receiver had a great Pro Day. He measured at 6-6, 218 pounds, and ran a 4.5 seconds 40-yard dash. In addition, Anderson leaped 35.5 inches in the vertical and 9-8 feet in the broad jump.

Joshua Williams

9. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) - Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State University

  • Needs: OL, LB, DT, S

Williams is a phenomenal athlete and compete with big and strong wide receivers.  The FSU Bronco alum could be the steal of the draft.  He stands 6-3 and has the ability to stay on an island or play the nickel back for Ron Rivera. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the Fayetteville Pro Day.

Williams competed against some of the best players at the Senior Bowl. He was the only Division II player to perform in this postseason all-star game. Williams has good size and length as a cornerback. The Broncos’ standout received All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association first-team honors had 31 total tackles and three interceptions. He’s coming off a big year.

Michael Badejo

10. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks): Michael Badejo, DE, Texas Southern University

  • Team Needs: DE, OL, DT, WR, RB

New York requires a big man with a mean streak whose motor keeps running. The Jet fans will fall in love with the toughness and speed Badejo brings to a defense.

I watched him being relentless against UAPB this past season, where he recorded 2.5 sacks, 4 TFLs, and 5 QB hurries.

11. Washington Commanders:   Cam Durley, OT, Tennessee State University

  • Needs: QB, CB, LB, WR, OL

The massive 6-6 foot and 315-pound offensive lineman can immediately impact Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, who have struggled along the line in recent years. Durley, the Houston native, was selected to the All-OVC first team at the tackle position and graduated from Tennessee State with a Communications degree.

Williams is a phenomenal athlete and compete with big and strong wide receivers. He stands 6-3 and has the ability to stay on an island or play the nickel back for Ron Rivera. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the Fayetteville Pro Day.

Williams competed against some of the best players at the Senior Bowl. He was the only Division II player to perform in this postseason all-star game. Williams has good size and length as a cornerback. The Broncos’ standout received All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association first-team honors had 31 total tackles and three interceptions. He’s coming off a big year.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Will Adams CB, Viginia State University

Needs: LB, DL, OL, CB, QB

Adams has 4.57 speed and size to cover Aaron Rodgers' wideouts. His measurables are excellent at 6-1 and 186 pounds with a 40.5 vertical and 10-3 broad jump.

Adams has the ability to come and stop the run. He knows how to turn the play inside and make the tackle. Adams had 61 total and 34 solo tackles. He’s real hitter. The first-team All-CIAA selection is one of two Division II stars from the same conference who have attracted attention from NFL scouts. The other is Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State. Adams and Williams have brought a lot of exposure to the CIAA.

13. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) Jawon Pass, QB Prairie View A&M University

  • Needs: QB, OL, LB, CB, WR, RB, DE

Lovie Smith finds a tall, strong arm, mobile quarterback right in his backyard from Prairie View. He's been working with the QB Legacy camp during the offseason to improve his throwing technique.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Keyshawn James, Fayetteville State University

  • Needs: CB, DL, DE, C

The 2021 CIAA Defensive Player of the Year has excellent fundamentals for John Harbaugh's coaching staff to develop. James can help anchor the Ravens' defensive line and his high motor will pressure opponent's quarterbacks. The big guy had 10.5 sacks and 23.5 TFLs in his Broncos career.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins): Keith Corbin III, WR, Jackson State University

  • Needs: CB, DE, LB, WR, OL, DE

Corbin made many critical catches for Shedeur Sanders and Jackson State in 2021. the 6-1 receiver posted a 4:56 seconds 40, and has a 75 1/8-inch wingspan. He attacks the ball in the air and makes aerobatic catches. QB Jalen Hurt will need Corbin's dependability.

16. New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts through Philadelphia Eagles): WR Trey Gross, Delaware State University

  • Needs: WR, OL, TE, LB, EDGE, RB

Gross had a solid week at the HBCU Legacy Bowl.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Marquis McClain, WR, Southern University

  • Needs: WR, LB, OL, TE, DE

Marquis McClain blazed to a 4.59 seconds 40, 39 inches vertical, and 10-foot broad jumps. I like his personality and had a chance to interview him after the HBCU Legacy Bowl. He has a durable build and could help Justin Herbert in the intermediate areas of a defense. Very good hands and runs great routes.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints): De'Shaan Dixon, DE, Norfolk State University

  • Needs: CB, DE, LB, WR, OL, DE

Dixon had an impressive outing at the HBCU Legacy Bowl in New Orleans. I kept seeing him attacking and affecting the quarterback in the pocket. I like his size and length to fit with Philadelphia's defense.

19. New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia Eagles): Lyndemian Brooks, RB, Prairie View University

  • Needs: WR, OL, TE, LB, EDGE, RB

Why? Alvin Kamara may face a suspension, Mark Ingram is aging, and Tony Jones Jr. is in his second year. Brooks had a tremendous Prairie View Pro Day with running a 4.37 seconds 40-yard dash, 38.5 inches vertical and 10-4 foot broad jump. Pete Carmichael could utilize his speed and rushing ability in case Kamara is missing from the lineup.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Geremy Hickbottom, QB, Tennessee State

  • Needs: QB, LT, WR, EDGE, S

21. New England Patriots: Keonte Hampton, LB, Jackson State

  • Needs: LB, WR, DE, CB OL, S

22. Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas Raiders): Caleb Carter, LB, Southern

  • Needs: WR, LB, OL, CB.

23. Arizona Cardinals: Antwan Owens, DT, Jackson State

  • Needs: WR, QB, RB, CB, DT, OL

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Garner, DE, Mississippi Valley State

  • Needs: WR, DE, OL, LB, CB

25. Buffalo Bills: Al Young, CB, Jackson State

  • Needs: DT, WR, DE, OL, CB

26. Tennessee Titans: Wes Bowers, LB, Bowie State

  • Needs: CB, WR, LB, OL

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zafir Kelley, CB, South Carolina State

  • Needs: DL, TE, QB, DE, LB

28. Green Bay Packers: Chad Gilchrist, LB, South Carolina State

  • Needs: WR, LB, OL, CB

29. Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers through Miami Dolphins): Joshua Flowers, CB, Winston-Salem State

  • Needs: WR, S, CB, DE, DT

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Wilkes, WR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

  • Needs: WR, S, CB, DE, DT

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Myles Wolfolk DB, Bowie State

  • Needs: CB, TE, LT

32. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams): LeCharles Pringle, WR, Alcorn State

  • Needs: OL, DE, WR, CB, QB

HBCU Legends NFL Draft Coverage