Fans react to the lack of HBCU players in 2023 NFL Draft

Out of the entire 2023 HBCU football draft class only one player was selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, and HBCU social media had something to say.

With less than thirty minutes left in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jackson State DB Isaiah Bolden was selected by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft. This was the second year in a row that a player from Jackson State was drafted. But Bolden stands alone as the only HBCU player selected out of the 259 selections in this year’s draft.


There’s no doubt that the HBCU community understands the force and dog-like attitude these players carry; ultimately making them ideal additions for any NFL team. After the disappointing draft fans took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the results of the draft.

As an NFL-sized receiver at Elizabeth City State University, Mykul “Prestige” Edwards seeing the lack of players drafted from an HBCU has to hit home for him. An hour before the draft closed Edwards simply tweeted “0 HBCU athletes drafted is scary man.” Honestly, can you argue with him?

NFL Reporter and Howard alumni Steve Wyche added his two cents; motivating all the players who didn’t get drafted.

Quinn Gray Sr., head football coach for Albany State passionately spoke about the “getting it out the mud” mentality that many HBCU athletes have to take on in order to fight for recognition; sometimes the opportunities still lack when compared to players from power fives. Read the full tweet thread below.

Efforts have been made by the NFL and other organizations to increase visibility for HBCU football prospects, including the establishment of the HBCU Combine and the HBCU Legacy Bowl.

At the end of the day, the absence of any HBCU player getting drafted will dampen the spirits of HBCU football supporters. Jackson State’s Esaias Guthrie said he was sitting with both excitement and disappointment for the lack of HBCU athletes picked in this years draft.

Although several HBCU football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts in the hours following the draft. This doesn’t mean that the journey ends here; it’s time to turn it up one more notch for the UDFA HBCU players.

Former NFL safety Ryan Clark tweeted it the best; “Going undrafted hurts. Hard to accept that no one believed in you, but sooner you do the better. It’s important 1 person believes, & that’s you. Hug those who support you, pick your head up, & get to the grind. It’s time to go make a team. All love, an undrafted free agent.

Fans react to the lack of HBCU players in 2023 NFL Draft
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