The first HBCU football player off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft is Fayetteville State defensive back Joshua Williams who was taken in the fourth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Williams, a Division II All-American, had 34 tackles two interceptions and 13 pass breakups as a junior in 2019. After the CIAA’s 2020 football season was canceled due to COVID-19, Williams returned with 31 tackles (20 solo), three interceptions with a pick-six, and six pass breakups as a senior.
He became Fayetteville State’s first Senior Bowl selection and he posted a 4.53 second time in the 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL Combine.
Steve Muench, an NFL draft analyst described Williams, this way:
“Williams is a tall press corner who has long arms and turns to locate the ball when he’s in phase. He’s a little tight and gives up some separation at the top of routes, but he flashes the ability to recover. He has a wide catching radius and high-points the ball. He’s lean and drops some passes, but he closes well and flashes above-average stopping power in run support and after the catch.”
Williams is the first Fayetteville State player to be taken in the draft since 1976.