2021 Football

NFL Draft: NCCU’s Bryan Mills headed west

Bryan Mills spent one year at an HBCU and that’s all it took for him to gain the attention of NFL Draft scouts. Now he’s in the league.

A short stint at an HBCU proved to be the difference for Bryan Mills.

The North Carolina Central defensive back has signed a UDFA contract with the Seattle Seahawks after going undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 6’1, 174 pound defensive back from Palmdale, California started on the JUCO route in his home state. He spent two seasons at two junior colleges before coming to Durham in 2019. He was one of the bright spots on the NCCU squad, picking off five passes on the season. Three of those came in one game, against Morgan State. For the season, he had 22 tackles, 0.5 sacks, eight pass breakups to go along with those turnovers.

That was enough to catch the attention of NFL scouts by fall of 2020. With that attention, Bryan Mills decided to opt-out of the spring 2021 season. Ultimately, NCCU would as well.

Bryan Mills



Here’s what NFL.com had to say about Mills.

Mills’ size, length and toughness make him an intriguing draft prospect but he’s much more of a “potential” prospect than a projectable one. He possesses very good ball skills and disruption potential but his fundamentals and technique will need to be overhauled if he wants to make it as a press corner, which is his best chance. He lacks true long speed and finds himself scrambling into catch-up mode too often due to a lack of patience and footwork, but he’s not without talent to mold. Mills succeeds on a lower level with natural ability and NFL traits. He has Cover 2 and Cover 3 characteristics and could become a quality backup if he can get his technique squared away.

Mills’ size and rise in NFL Draft stock will remind many of another former NCCU DB: Ryan Smith. Smith was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and won a Super Bowl with the Bucs this season.

Keep an eye on the 2021 HBCU Gameday UDFA tracker for updates on HBCU prospects signing in the NFL.

NFL Draft: NCCU’s Bryan Mills headed west
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