As one reporter noted, “It’s hard not to be impressed with what Art Briles is doing at Baylor.” In the 17 years before Briles came to Waco, only one Bear had been drafted in the NFL’s first round (Daryl Gardener, 1996). Briles has now seen three of his players become first-round picks in just three years, including two Thursday night.
When defensive end Phil Taylor was picked by the Cleveland Browns with the 21st overall selection and offensive lineman Danny Watkins went two picks later to the Philadelphia Eagles, it gave Baylor two NFL first-round picks in the same year for the first time since 1957. Both players are expected to compete for starting roles this fall.
- BaylorBears.com has a photo gallery and video of Taylor and Watkins thoughts on the draft, Baylor football and more.
- Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Browns actually traded up to make sure they got Taylor.
- ClevelandBrowns.com has video of a press conference with the Browns’ GM and coach and a conference call with Taylor
- Eagles coach Andy Reid: “We felt [Watkins] was as good a football player as there was in the draft“
- PhiladelphiaEagles.com has video of Reid talking about his first pick and a conference call with Watkins
The draft continues today and tomorrow, with at least three other Bears (cornerback Antareis Bryan, running back Jay Finley and safety Byron Landor) considered candidates to be selected. Update: Two more Bears were selected in the seventh round, as cornerback Mikail Baker went to the St. Louis Rams with pick No. 216 and running back Jay Finley went to the Cincinnati Bengals at pick No. 246. All told, the four total selections this year were Baylor’s most since having five players drafted in 1996. Only one Big 12 school, Nebraska, had more players selected this year than Baylor.
Sic ’em, Phil, Danny, Mikail, Jay and Baylor football!