BATON ROUGE, La. – For the ninth time since 2000, no HBCU football players heard their names called during the NFL Draft, but the lack of drafted players wasn’t just an HBCU issue.
“You only had six FCS players drafted, and two of those came from the same school: North Dakota State,” Jaguar Journal co-host Reggie Flood said.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted players’ exposure both positively and negatively. The 2021 NFL Draft was occurring during the same weekend of the SWAC Championship, which kicked off on May 1st, and while the FCS playoffs continued.
FCS schools will still have to play in the fall and, as a result, see increased exposure for players, but the amount of nationally televised games won’t impact how many eyes are drawn to championship subdivision schools.
“When I hear people talk about exposure on television and all that, that’s a marketing thing, marketing and branding. That has nothing to do with what NFL scouts are actually looking for. Almost every Pro Day Southern has had, there have been double digits, if not a representative from every NFL team there,” Flood continued.
The benefit, however, will be nearly 20 games of film for NFL scouts to evaluate from the 2021 calendar year. The Southern Jaguars played six games in the spring and face an 11-game regular season starting in September.
The extra games will give FCS players more “exposure” in regards to the film scouts can break down.
“That’s what scouts will look at: the additional tape. The more that they see them play, then the scouts can say ‘okay this guy is consistent. I see what he does right. I see what he does wrong.’ All of those things come out on film,” Flood furthered.
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