Fayetteville State University’s cornerback Joshua Williams was the first to be picked. Kansas City Chiefs chose Williams with the 135th draft pick overall in the 4th round.
The second athlete selected was South Carolina State’s cornerback Decobie Durant. Durant was awarded MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 142nd pick overall in the 4th round.
Jackson State University’s outside linebacker James Houston IV was the third student and picked by the Detroit Lions with the 217th pick overall in the 6th.
Southern University’s offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter was the final pick and was chosen by the Chicago Bears with the 226th pick overall in the 7th round.
Four HBCU players were selected in the 2022 #NFLDraft, the most since 2019.
— Troy Vincent, Sr. (@TroyVincentSr) May 3, 2022
When asked by ESPN about his readiness for the NFL coming from a Division 2 team, Williams responded that he’s ready.
“Well, I’m 100% confident in my abilities and the work that I put in to be able to play the next level,” Williams said. “I know it’s going to take time to learn the system and, of course, adapt to pace the game, but that’s something I’m completely able to do. I’m confident in my abilities to do, and I’m sure I’ll be able to come out and contribute some way starting [in] the first week.”
In response to the four HBCU players’ draft, former NFL player Deion Sanders, who is now coaching the Jackson State football team, expressed his excitement for the players on Instagram.
“Let’s go, NFL. HBCUs! Everybody that has anything to do with an HBCU, you should be shouting right now and dancing. As a matter of fact, hit the organ right now,” Sanders said in the Instagram video.
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In 2020, only one HBCU football player was selected for the NFL draft, while in 2021, no one was chosen for the draft.