No HBCU players picked in 2024 NFL draft, marking second shutout in four years

By Chris Bumbucca

For the second time in four years, no prospects from a Historically Black College or University heard his name during the NFL draft as the 2024 edition of the event wrapped up Saturday.

The shutout also happened in 2021, and the overall lack of HBCU draftees in recent years prompted the¬†creation of initiatives¬†such as the creation of the HBCU Legacy Bowl (2021) ‚Äď sponsored by the Black College Hall of Fame ‚Äď for draft-eligible prospects and the¬†NFL-backed HBCU Combine¬†(2022).

Following the 2021 draft, then-Jackson State head coach¬†Deion Sanders¬†‚Äď now at Colorado ‚Ästsounded off on social media, writing: “I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted. My prayers are that This won‚Äôt EVER happen again.‚ÄĚ

In 2022, four players from HBCUs were taken. That number decreased to one last year, as Jackson State’s Isaiah Bolden, a cornerback, was taken by the New England Patriots with one of the final selections (245th overall) of the draft. Including the lone player selected in 2020, HBCUs have accounted for eight draftees in the last five drafts.

 Virginia State cornerback Willie Reed and Howard’s Anim Dankwah, a 6-foot-8 left tackle, were considered the most likely HBCU prospects to be drafted this year.