The 2023 NFL Draft is a little more than 24 hours away, and HBCU football players will be in the mix for possible selection during the seven-round event that begins Thursday in Kansas City.
Since the offseason, the HBCU Combine, NFLPA All-Star Game, HBCU Legacy Bowl and Reese’s Senior Bowl, and school-sanctioned pro days allowed many draft-eligible players to be evaluated in front of NFL scouts.
Four HBCU players were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Will more be on the horizon this year? One football analyst has ranked the top Black college prospects who could hear their names called this week.
The highest-rated HBCU player, according to ESPN reporter Jason Reid, is Florida A&M linebacker Isaiah Land.
Land, who appeared in the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, was identified as a “highly productive pass-rusher” who could fill the role of a situational NFL player, contributing on passing downs. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound former Buck Buchanan Award winner is projected by Reid as a mid-to-late round draft pick.
“For teams seeking immediate help on obvious passing downs, Land could be an added boost,” said Reid.
Behind Land is Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller. The SWAC Defensive Player of the Year is projected to be a late-round pick, though Reid said Miller has won over teams with his workout performances.
“He could be an instant-impact player on special teams in the pros while he continues to develop as a linebacker,” said Reid.
The top HBCU offensive lineman, says Reid, is Arkansas-Pine Bluff left tackle Mark Evans II. Scouts have suggested that Evans could play center in the NFL because his skill best translates to the position.
“His game translates best to NFL teams that use outside zone schemes, where he can use his quick feet and savviness to win with his hands and angles, Reid says.
According to Reid, Evans “has a good chance” to be selected on the third day of the draft.
Rounding out Reid’s top 15 HBCU draft prospects are:
No. 4 Shaq Davis, WR, South Carolina State
No. 5 Jadakis Bonds, WR, Hampton
No. 6 Keenan Issac, CB, Alabama State
No. 7 Darius Hagans, RB, Virginia State
No. 8 Emanuel Wilson, RB, Fort Valley State
No. 9 Kemari Averett, TE, Bethune Cookman
No. 10 Dallas Daniels, WR, Jackson State
No. 11 Xavier Smith, WR, Florida A&M
No. 12 Andrew Farmer, DE, Lane
No. 13 De’Jahn Warren, DB, Jackson State
No. 14 Joshua Pryor, DE, Bowie State
No. 15 Brandon Barnes-Brown, CB, Fayetteville State
Leave a Reply