ORANGEBURG, SC—South Carolina State All-American defensive lineman Javon Hargrave was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2016 National Football League Draft.
The Steelers selected Hargrave with the 89th pick overall. The 6-1, 309 pound Salisbury, NC native was the first player selected from an (HBCU) Historically Black College in this year’s draft, and was pegged by many pre-NFL draft websites as one of the top defensive lineman in the country in FCS/ I-AA.
Hargrave is the second Bulldog to be selected this high in the NFL draft. Defensive end Robert Porcher was taken in the first round with the 26th pick in 1992 by the Detroit Lions. The Bulldogs' most recent draftee was Christian Thompson, who was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round with the 130th pick of the 2012 draft.
Hargrave saw action in 47 games during his four-year career for the Bulldogs. He joined the short list of athletes selected as the SBN/Mel Blunt Defensive Player of the Year and was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight year in 2015. He was named to numerous All-American teams during the pre- and post-seasons, and in 11 games this season, he finished with 43 solo tackles (59 total), 13.5 sacks and was fifth in the nation in tackles for loss with 22 for 106 yards.
He also became one of the most decorated defensive lineman in school history by earning multiple All-American honors, and is the third Bulldog invited to the NFL combine since Arther Love in 1999 (New England) and Christian Thompson in 2012 (Baltimore Ravens).
He was ranked 11th out of 207 defensive tackles in the 2016 NFL combine. He completed the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds, had a vertical jump of 34 ½ inches and did 29 reps on the bench press (225 pounds).
Former Bulldog standout, five-time NFL Pro Bowl player and four-time All-Pro safety Donnie Shell played 14 years for the Steelers (1974-87).