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A Dallas Cowboys executive pushed back against Deion Sanders complaining about only one HBCU player being drafted.
The Colorado head coach tweeted NFL teams should be “ashamed” after former Jackson State player Isaiah Bolden was the only HBCU player drafted.
Notably, Deion didn’t seem to note only a total of 10 FCS players were selected. Shannon Sharpe immediately pushed back against Sanders’ claim and Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay has now done the same.
He told SI.com the following in response to the Colorado coach:
Deion’s doing a great job of promoting HBCUs and promoting Colorado and all those things. And so that’s part of what the deal is – he wants to see players drafted. We want to draft good football players and good football players come from everywhere. There’s not a conspiracy against drafting HBCU players. We’re looking for players that can come from anywhere. I think that we’ve had the opportunities in the NFL in having things to highlight the HBCU schools. I think the players have to have draftable grades.
Deion Sanders’ claim was off-base.
It’s great to see people are vocally pushing back against Deion Sanders’ claim about HBCU players. Generally speaking, Sanders is a very rational voice.
Most of what he says is worth listening to. For some reason, he fired off a hot take about one HBCU player being drafted, and failed to really explain it.
As Shannon Sharpe said in response, who are the players he wanted drafted and when should they have been drafted? Name the names.
The reality of the situation is very simple. The NFL will take talent wherever it can find it, and the vast majority is in the P5.
Very few FCS players are capable of playing in the NFL, and those who are capable generally play for FCS powers. HBCUs simply aren’t FCS powers.
If a player isn’t good enough to dominate at the P5 level, he’s not going to get many looks. These are the facts. As McClay pointed out, players have to “have draftable grades” in order to get looks. Again, a total of 10 FCS players were drafted.
The talent simply isn’t at the FCS level. It has literally nothing to do with race, and Sanders knows that. He should have chosen his words much better or simply not complained at all.