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A brief history of HBCU players picked in the first round of the NFL Draft

-Tennessee State has the most first round picks by an HBCU with seven players selected in the first round.

-Tennessee State’s Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Grambling’s Buck Buchannan are the only two HBCU players to be selected first overall

-At least one player from an HBCU was selected in the first round of every NFL Draft from 1968 to 1975


DL, Buck Buchanan (Grambling) 1st overall by Kansas City


DL, Claude Humphrey (Tennessee State) 3rd overall by Atlanta
QB, Eldridge Dickey (Tennessee State) 25th overall by Denver


CB, Jim Marsalis (Tennessee State) 23rd overall by Kansas City


WR, Ken Burrough (Texas Southern) 10th overall by New Orleans
OL, Doug Wilkerson (North Carolina Central) 14th by Houston
TE, Raymond Chester (Morgan State) 24th by Oakland


DE, Richard Harris (Grambling) 5th overall by New Orleans
WR, Frank Lewis (Grambling) 8th overall by Pittsburgh
LB, Isaiah Robertson (Southern) 10th overall by LA Rams
OT, Vernon Holland (Tennessee State) 15th by Cincinnatti


WR, Jerome Barkum (Jackson State) 9th by NY Jets


DB, Mike Holmes (Texas Southern) 18th overall by San Fransisco


DE, Too Tall Jones (Tennessee State) 1st overall by Dallas
LB, Waymond Bryant (Tennessee State) 4th overall by Chicago
LB, Henry Lawrence (FAMU) 19th overall by Oakland
DE, Don Reese (Jackson State) 26th overall by Miami


RB, Walter Payton (Jackson State) 4th overall by Chicago
LB, Robert Brazile (Jackson State) 6th overall by Houston
DT, Gary Johnson (Grambling) 8th overall by San Diego


DE, Ezra Johnson (Morris Brown) 28th overall by Green Bay

(Washington Post photo)


QB, Doug Williams (Grambling) 17th overall by Tampa Bay


CB, Roynell Young (Alcorn State) 23rd overall by Philadelphia


WR, Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State) 16th overall by San Fransisco


DE, Robert Porcher (South Carolina State) 26th overall by Detroit


OL, Lester Holmes (Jackson State) 19th overall by Philadelphia


DE, John Theirry (Alcorn State) 11th overall by Chicago


QB, Steve McNair (Alcorn State) 3rd overall by Houston
DE, Hugh Douglas (Central State) 16th overall by New York Jets
DB, Tyrone Poole (Fort Valley State) 22nd overall by Carolina


OL, Jamain Stephens (North Carolina A&T) 29th overall by Pittsburgh


WR, Sylvester Morris (Jackson State) 21st overall by Kansas City
DB, Rashard Anderson (Jackson State) 23rd overall by Carolina


DB, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State) 16th overall by Arizona

*AFL Draft. The AFL and NFL began a common draft in 1967

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Darion Hall

    April 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    TnSU represented well! BIG BLUE! Looks like JSU had 7 as well. Hope we can produce more talent as HBCUs in the future.

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