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Top HBCU Draft Prospects in 2022

Sports journalist Don Hunt previews the top HBCU draft prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft.
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There are a number of outstanding football players who have a chance to be selected in the NFL Draft April 28-30 in Las Vegas. Some of these great prospects come from historically Black colleges and universities.

A year ago, there were no HBCU players taken in the draft. However, it’s going to be hard to overlook some of these prospects who have the talent to play on Sundays. The NFL teams that do a great job of scouting the HBCU talent pools will come away with some great players.

The HBCU ranks have produced some quality NFL players such as Darius Leonard (Indianapolis Colts, South Carolina State), Javon Hargrave (Philadelphia Eagles, South Carolina State), Terron Armstead (Miami Dolphins, Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Danny Johnson (Washington Commanders, Southern), Tytus Howard (Houston Texans, Alabama State) and others. In fact, Leonard and Hargrave played in the Pro Bowl this year.

Here is a list of some HBCU draft prospects to watch:

Aqeel Glass

Aqeel Glass

Alabama A&M, Quarterback, 6-5, 215 pounds

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 of 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 also performed extremely 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.

Decobie Durant

Decobie Durant

South Carolina State, Cornerback, 5-11, 180 pounds

Durant is a shutdown corner. He has great speed. He clocked a 4.38 at 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 along with the Celebration Bowl making the Bulldogs national HBCU champions. Durant’s quickness, tackling ability and cover skills makes him a bright prospect.

Joshua Williams
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Joshua Williams

Fayetteville State, Cornerback, 6-3, 197 pounds

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.

Markquese Bell

Markquese Bell

Florida A&M, Safety, 6-3, 205 pounds

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

Ja’Tyre Carter

Southern, Offensive Guard, 6-5, 275 pounds

Carter has great 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 looking to bolster their ground attack.

Carter ran a 5.13 in the 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.

East linebacker James Houston IV of Jackson State (41)

James Houston

Jackson State, Linebacker, 6-1, 225 pounds

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 pass 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 big time player who can play the run as well as the pass. He knows how to pick his spots in getting to the quarterback, too.

Will Adams

Will Adams

Virginia State, Cornerback, 6-1, 186 pounds

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.

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