Back in March, Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders called out some NFL teams that didn't attend the school's pro day. Not only did the Detroit Lions attend Jackson State's pro day, they drafted one of Sanders' players.
With the No. 217 overall pick in this year's draft, the Lions selected edge rusher James Houston.
Houston finished the 2021 season with 70 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Unsurprisingly, he earned First-team All-SWAC honors.
According to Pro Football Focus, Houston had a 22.8 percent pass-rushing win rate in his final season of college football. We'd imagine the Lions were impressed by that number.
Houston isn't the only player from an HBCU who heard his name called during this year's draft.
In the fourth round, the Kansas City Chiefs selected cornerback Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State. In that same round, the Los Angeles Rams drafted South Carolina State cornerback Decobie Durant.
The future is bright for HBCUs.