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Who are the top HBCU players in the 2021 NFL Draft?

A list of 57 football players in the HBCU who have a chance of hearing their name called in the 2021 NFL draft.

Today, we broke down the 2021 NFL Draft, we listed 57 players from HBCU schools that we have reviewed and broke down film of in 2019. There are several teams we were not able to get film on, and some teams we watched that we could only receive offensive or defensive snaps. We did our best and think we covered quite a bit of players. Just because they are in number order we are not ranking the players. We are just posting the players we watched and that stuck out on film.

Check out this list by NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot, and if you feel you deserve to be on the list, send us an email nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com!

Check out all the small schoolers on our Small School Rankings!

  1. Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M – Glass is a big time quarterback who stands in the pocket and distributes the ball with ease. The 6050 gunslinger took the SWAC over by storm last year. Remember his name in the 2021 NFL Draft.
  2. Juwan Carter, QB, Norfolk State – Carter reminds me of Tyrod Taylor. He is a 6000 quarterback who threw for 2,631 yards last season and hit on 23 touchdowns. Carter can run too scoring six touchdowns on the ground.
  3. Ladarius Skelton, QB, Southern – I am a fan of Skelton, last year he threw the ball 251 times and completed 153 of those passes for 1,642 yards. He will kill you with his feet though. He ran the ball 189 yards and scored 14 rushing touchdowns last year.
  4. Caylin Newton, QB, Howard – Cam Newton’s little brother is an amazing player. He missed his star wide receiver last year, but this kid has everything you want in a QB. He is a competitor and wants to win every time he touches the field.
  5. Michael Sims, QB, Morehouse – The left handed QB from Detroit has good size at 6030 and does a great job at spreading the ball out to his wide outs. Sims is a pocket passer, he may need to add some weight but he is fairly accurate, which helps at any level.
  6. Felix Harper, QB, Alcorn State – Alcorn State quarterback Felix Harper was selected as the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year. Harper took the league by storm this season after taking over as the Braves starter at quarterback. Harper tallied 29 touchdowns this season to go along with 167 completions, 2,387 passing yards good for a 167.9 efficiency rating.  
  7. Jah-Maine Martin, RB, North Carolina A&T – The former Coastal Carolina running back has been a huge asset to the Aggies. Last year he put the Aggies on his back, and he was a one man show. The 5100 running back was a force in the MEAC.
  8. Isaiah Totten, RB, NCCU – Totten is a speedster, he stands at 5090, but he ranks seventh all time on NCCU’s All-Time Rushing List with 2,122 yards averaging 5 yards per carry and has 15 career rushing touchdowns.
  9. Labron Morris, RB, South Carolina State – The 5100, 190 pound running back from Decatur, Georgia had a solid year averaging 4.3 yards per carry and scoring 9 touchdowns on just 158 carries. Morris is a player to keep an eye on for the 2021 NFL Draft.
  10. Davon Benn, RB, Southern – The itty bitty one from New Orleans is a dawg. He rushed for 806 yards and 5.3 yards a carry last year for the Jaguars. He is only 5080 but he has the heart of a Lion. His seven touchdowns were impressive too.
  11. Santo Dunn, RB, Morehouse – Dunn is a little guy as well, but the Miami, Florida native has football in his blood. He rushed for 590 yards and had over 1000 yards all purpose. He is a punt returner as well as a kick returner.
  12. Shawn McFarland, FB/TE, Norfolk State – McFarland is underutilized for the Spartans, but in JUCO was a beast. The 6020, 240 pounder hauled in just 15 passes for 169 yards and 1 touchdown in 2019, but he can block.
  13. Taron Mallard, TE, Bethune-Cookman – A 6060 and 250 pound tight end is big and light on his feet. He reminds me a lot of Donald Parham who recently tore up the XFL. Mallard finished the 2019 season with 16 receptions for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns.
  14. Donnie Corley, WR, Texas Southern – Texas Southern wide receiver Donnie Corley was selected as SWAC Newcomer of the Year after leading the league in receiving yards with 1,039 for the season. Corley amassed a conference leading 103.9 receiving yards per game and was the only receiver in the league to average over 100 yards per outing. He also tallied 72 total receptions (7.2 rpg) along with three touchdowns.
  15. Dalane Brown II, WR, Central State – Brown had a great season last year for Central. He is a 6030 wide out who filled in well from Kevin Greenhow who left the team. Brown hauled in 39 receptions for 571 yards and 6 touchdowns.
  16. Zabrian Moore, WR, Alabama A&M – I am not sure how Moore made it out of Tuscaloosa without the Crimson Tide jumping on him. Last year he had 58 receptions for 1057 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. This kid is a beast.
  17. Harry Ballard, WR, UAPB – A transfer from Mizzou that really sticks out on film. The 6030 wide out tore it up last year, amassing 938 yards on 52 receptions and scoring ten receiving touchdowns. NFL teams are going to be all over this kid, he has talent.
  18. Kenneth Kirby, OL, Norfolk State – When you look at O-Lineman you want kids that get the job done and starting experience. Kirby does both. He has started every game since his Freshman year minus the 2018 year in which he had to redshirt. He has 34 career starts, and is a 6050, 290 pound offensive tackle.
  19. Keenan Forbes, OL, Florida A&M – Forbes is an interior lineman to me. He is a 6030, 315 pound offensive lineman who was a key member of an offensive line who did a phenomenal job in pass protection, giving up a league low eight sacks through 11 games. 
  20. Dontae Keys, OL, North Carolina A&T – The big right tackle for the Aggies did a great job at blocking for one of the best running backs in the FCS. With Marcus Pettiford leaving for the NFL, it will be interesting to see if the 6040, 300 pound Keys will move to Left Tackle for his senior year.
  21. Andrew Dale, OL, NCCU – Dale is a 6020, 290 pound interior lineman who led the Eagles with an 81 percent grade on his blocking assignments, along with 27 knockdowns and 13 pancake blocks, while only allowing two sacks.
  22. Jamal Savage, OL, Bethune Cookman – One of the bigger offensive lineman in the HBCU. The 6060, 320 pounder is a Savage, like his last name. He can play tackle and guard. The games I watched he played primarily left guard and he did a great job not allowing a sack.
  23. Jalen Powell, OL, Nortfolk State – The 6030, 305 pound offensive lineman has been a staple in the Spartans offensive line. He has started every game since his Freshman year, and is a major part in the Spartans passing offense blocking.
  24. De’jour Simpson, OL, NC A&T – The former Eastern Kentucky transfer is a mean offensive lineman. He has played left guard for the Aggies, and along with Keys helped the Aggies run the ball very well. He is a 65030, 290 pound mauler from Charlotte, North Carolina.
  25. Danny Garza, OL, PVAMU – was a key cog on the front line of the Prairie View A&M’s league-leading scoring offense (35.5 points per game) and total offense (483.9 yards per game). The San Antonio, Texas native helped clear running lanes for the conference’s second-ranked rushing attack at 217.5 yards per game while anchoring the offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks among all SWAC teams on the season (15).
  26. Atondre Smith, OL, UAPB – UAPB”s left guard Smith (6-3, 320; Jr., DeSoto, Texas), helped the offense to post seven 30+ point scoring games, including back-to-back 50-point games vs. Alabama A&M (52-34) and Langston (53-9).
  27. Tristen Wallace, WR, PVAMU – The former Oregon Duck wide receiver had a great year last season with the Panthers. He is a 6030, 220 pound wide out that finished the season with 485 yards receiving on 40 receptions scoring twice.
  28. Keyshawn James, DE, Fayetteville State – This kid looks the part. He is 6030, weighs 270 pounds, has wide shoulders and is dominating his conference. Last year at FSU, he finished with 8 sacks bringing his career total to 17. Last year he forced four fumbles as well.
  29. Chris Myers, DL, Norfolk State – The former Middle Tennessee State transfer is a 6060, 245 pound pass rusher who just maybe the best pass rusher in the HBCU. He finished with 10 tackles for loss and 9 sacks in 2019.
  30. De’Shaan Dixon, DL, Norfolk State – Dixon a 6050 pass rusher teamed with Myers to form a strong duo of pass-rushing ends for the Spartans this season. The junior was fourth on the team with 61 tackles, which included seven tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and a team-high seven quarterback hurries. 
  31. Cody Roscoe, DE, McNeese State – Roscoe finished the season with nine quarterback sacks, ranking him second on the team and fourth in the conference. Seven of those were solo sacks. He also recorded 42 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and led the team with eight quarterback hurries.
  32. Roderick Perry, DT, South Carolina State – The 6020 pass rusher from SC State finished the season with 4.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. He finished the season with 34 total tackles, and his motor never stops for being a big boy.
  33. Mike Boykin, DE, Tennessee State – The former Louisville transfer is a 6060 monster weighing 290 pounds. He was a four star recruit out of high school. He is one of the better pass rusher in the OVC.
  34. Jahseari Patterson, DL, Fort Valley State – Patterson recorded a true breakout campaign. The junior was one of the top SIAC defensive ends where he recorded 48 tackles, 23 solo, to go with 15 tackles for loss of 81 yards, 6.5 sacks of 52 yards, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. 
  35. Jerry Garner, DL, Mississippi Valley State – The 6020 linebacker from Chunchula, Alabama had a solid year in 2019 racking up 16 tackles for loss with 9 sacks. He finished the season with 53 tackles and is a true leader of the MVSU defense.
  36. Christian Clark, DL, Alabama State – You want to talk about a run stuffer? Clark is that guy. He is a 6010, 380 pound mammoth on the D-Line for the Hornets. He reminds me of Mike Jasper the big NAIA defensive lineman who was drafted by the Bills a few years back.
  37. Jaylun Thomas, DL, Miles – Thomas had 42 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5 quarterback hurries, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was top-10 in the SIAC in tackles for loss and sacks.
  38. Armoni Holloway, OLB, AAMU – Holloway led the conference in tackles while setting a new Alabama A&M record with 114 tackles, averaging 9.5 tacklers per game. He also led the Bulldogs with 14 tackles for loss.
  39. Kailen Abrams, LB, Central State – Abrams is the first Marauder to earn back-to-back Don Hansen All-America honors since the 2010 season. The 6’2 junior from Detroit, Michigan continued his consistent play all season and finished with a SIAC best 10.5 tackles per game while ranking fifth in the conference with a total tackle count of 84.
  40. Tre’Shaud Smith, LB, PVAMU – Smith immediately asserted himself as one of the most active defenders in the league, leading the Panthers with 93 tackles and 12 for loss. The Centreville, Miss. native led the Panthers with six sacks and also accounted for four pass breakups. The junior posted four games with 10 or more total tackles and four games with two or more tackles for loss.
  41. Darion Dunn, CB, McNeese – Dunn tied for the conference lead with five pass interceptions. The Oakdale native started in all 12 games at the cornerback position and finished the year with 42 total tackles and 11 pass break ups.
  42. Bryan Mills, CB, NCCU – Mills led the conference with five interceptions, and ranked second in the MEAC with 13 passes defended. He also accounted for 22 tackles. He is a 6020 cornerback that NFL teams will be watching hard next year.
  43. Mac McCain III, CB,  NC A&T – Mac is a star cornerback for the Aggies. The 6000 cornerback from Greensboro has been a big play maker for the Aggies. He has two career 100 yard interception returns for a touchdown. he has been starting for the past several years, he is a stud.
  44. Tevin Singleton, CB, Bowie State– One of the best HBCU football players in Division 2. Singleton is a Maryland native with ball skills. Last year he was one of the best cover corners in all of Division 2. He finished with 5 interceptions.

  45. Decobie Durant, DB, South Carolina State – The 5110 defensive back finished the 2019 season with 35 total tackles including four tackles for loss. He also had three interceptions his junior year. I expect him to ball out in 2020.
  46. Zach Anderson, DB, Fort Valley State – The 2019 Preseason All-SIAC and 2018 All-SIAC Second Team defensive back led the Wildcats secondary with 61 tackles, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups.
  47. Terrance Harris, DB, Clark Atlanta – Harris. a defensive back and outside linebacker for the Panthers last season, was a first team All-Conference pick after finishing with 92 tackles over ten games this season, second-most in the SIAC.   His 9.2 tackles per game ranked third in the SIAC in all games this season.
  48. Tyler Scott, DB, Albany State – Scott had a great junior year. He is a Florida Boi, which I love because I live here now. He finished the season with 60 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and one sack. Remember his name when watching film!
  49. Jaylen Harris, DB, PVAMUHarris was a dominant force in the secondary alongside Cheatum, emerging as one of the nation’s most disruptive ball-hawks. He picked off a team-high four passes while making 14 pass breakups, also tops among Panther defenders. The Round Rock, Texas native is second in the country at 1.8 passes defended (interceptions and pass breakups combined) per game and tied for third-most passes defended at 18.
  50. Shaun Steele, DB, UAPB – Steele was tied for fifth in the SWAC in interceptions (three), and first in the league in both pass breakups (15) and passes defended (18). He had four games of multiple pass breakups. He is a 5110, 180 pound shutdown defensive back.
  51. Qwynnterrio Cole, S, Alcorn State – Cole, from Memphis, Tennessee, leads the defense with five interceptions on the year and is third in tackles with 78. His 0.4 interceptions per game ranks 13th in the FCS. The 6030 defensive back is a stud.
  52. Elvin De La Rosa, S, Fayetteville State – A 6010 defensive back who was the CIAA Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. Last year he finished with 22 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 2 passes defended. I like him because he will rock you if you come across the middle.
  53. Chris Faddoul, P, Florida A&M – Faddoul is probably the best special teams player in the HBCU. He averaged 46.03 yards a punt last season and bombed a 72 yarder. I like this kid, he has a huge leg.
  54. Jefferson Souza, K, Virginia Union – Souza a 6010 kicker from Deerfield Beach, Florida was 15/16 last year in field goals hitting a 42 yarder as a long against Winston Salem State. Souza is also a kickoff specialist and has handled punting duties.
  55. Spencer Corey, K, Alabama A&M – Corey, from New Palestine, Ind., finished the season 49 of 50 on extra point attempts, and he made 5-of-9 field goal attempts, including a 44-yarder. He was second in the SWAC among placekickers with 64 points.
  56. Gabriel Ballinas, K , Albany State – Ballinas from Guadalupe, Mexico is a stud. He was 11/15 hitting a 47 yarder against Savannah State. He also handled punting and kickoffs for the Rams earning conference honors.
  57. Brandon Smith, KR, Fayetteville State – Smith is one of the best returners in the 2021 NFL Draft. In 2017 he had 1235 yards and 2 touchdowns as a returner. He has four kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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