HBCU Rookies Making NFL Rosters

The HBCU rookies who made the initial 2022 NFL 53-man rosters.

The National Football League teams have decided on the initial 53-man rosters. When preseason began, 17 NFL squads at 33 players with HBCU pedigree battling for a roster spot.   

The Four

The four draftees from HBCU programs, Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State), Decobie Durant (South Carolina State), James Houston (Jackson State), and Ja’Tyre Carter(Southern), remained in an excellent position to join the NFL.

Here’s an update on the HBCU Rookies who made the rosters and the two notables that fell short.

MAKING THE SQUAD

The Kansas City Chiefs’ fourth-round selection, Joshua Williams, earned a roster spot.  

Los Angeles Rams’ fourth-rounder, Decobie Durant, has played exceptionally high level during camp and preseason. Sean McVay released the roster, and Durant is now a member of the Super Bowl Champions. 

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Finally, offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter made the Chicago roster. His consistency and growth had the Bears taking notice of their 7th-round pick’s upside.

Since signing his undrafted free-agent contract, Florida A&M’s Markquese Bell climbed the depth chart for the Dallas Cowboys. The All-SWAC Rattler has impressive cover skills, tackling, and play-making ability. He caught an interception in the Cowboys’ preseason finale against the Seahawks.

Jacksonville gave De’Shaan Dixon his shot, and the young Norfolk Spartan won a spot at outside linebacker. He had two tackles and one sack this in preseason action. It’s not a mistake that the 6-5 defender is a Jaguar.

THERE’S STILL HOPE ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD

Detroit waived LB James Houston after a productive training camp but a quiet preseason. The 6th-round draft pick (217th overall) recorded 1.5 defensive tackles and one special team tackle in 3 games. His highest activity rate was against the Colts when Houston played 23 defensive snaps at a 41% rate. The 31 NFL teams have 24 hours to claim Houston off of waivers. If no club places a waiver claim, he will become a free agent and free to sign with the Lions or another team’s practice squad.

Fort Valley State’s wideout Shemar Bridges’ bid to catch on with the Baltimore Ravens fell short. The Ravens decided to waive the rookie with an injury designation.

Keep your eyes on these young HBCU rookies. I have a sneaky suspicion we haven’t heard the last of James Houston and Shemar Bridges.

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