Three players from HBCUs were taken in this year’s NFL draft – which concluded on Saturday – one less than the four that were taken last year.
This year however, the three selections came in the third, fourth and sixth rounds. All three players participated in the NFL Combine.
As expected, two-time BOXTOROW Willie Davis Defensive Player of the Year defensive tackle Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State was drafted, in the third round, 89th overall. Hargrave becomes the highest HBCU player taken since 2013 when former Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead was taken in the third round, 75th overall by the Saints.
North Carolina Central cornerback Ryan Smith was selected in the fourth round, 108 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. South Carolina State tight end Temmarick Hemingway was selected in the sixth round, 177 overall by the Los Angeles Rams.
All three have excellent chances of making their respective teams particularly Hargrave and Smith.
The following is a list of HBCU players that have signed free agent contracts:
Florida A&M OLB Akil Blount, Miami Dolphins
Norfolk State LB Deon King, Dallas Cowboys *
Fayetteville State WR Chis Hubert, Arizona Cardinals
Grambling WR Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts
Prairie View A&M RB Johnta’ Hebert, Washington Redskins
Jackson State WR Devin Fossleman, Seattle Seahawks
Texas Southern P Cory Carter, Houston Texans*
Alcorn State DB Warren Gatewood, Green Bay Packers
Virginia Union OL Dahon Taylor, New York Jets
Jackson State DB Robert Porter, Chicago Bears
Alabama A&M DL Anthony Lanier, Washington Redskins
South Carolina State CB/RS Antonio Hamilton, South Carolina State
Bethune-Cookman DB Marquis Drayton, Oakland Raiders
*2015 BOXTOROW All-American
List updated as of 5:08 p.m. ET, May 2, 2016