Between 1966 and 2008, five Baylor players were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The program has now matched that total in Art Briles’ four years as head coach, as Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright were each selected in the first round Thursday night. Three more Bears — center Philip Blake, running back Terrance Ganaway and tackle Robert T. Griffin — were selected later in the draft, bringing Baylor’s total to five, the most for BU since 1996.
Selected by the Washington Redskins with the second pick of the draft, Griffin III became the fourth Bear to be drafted No. 2 overall, following Jack Wilson (1942), Adrian Burk (1950) and Jason Smith (2009). RG3 is the first BU quarterback to be drafted since Cody Carlson in 1987, and the first Baylor QB to go in the first round since Cotton Davidson in 1954.
[RG3 LINKS: Video of RG3's draft selection || ESPN interview || Redskins.com story || Washington Post story || DC reporter gets to know RG3 || "Skins' coach thrilled to get Griffin" || RG3 conference call || Redskins.com photo gallery]
Wright was picked at No. 20 by the Tennessee Titans, the first Baylor receiver to go in the first round since Lawrence Elkins in 1965. Wright is the 13th Baylor alum drafted by the Oilers/Titans franchise over its history; only Texas and Oklahoma have had more players selected by the franchise.
The Denver Broncos used the fourth-round pick they received for Tim Tebow to select Blake. In Denver, he will either battle fellow Bear J.D. Walton for the starting center job or shift to guard. In the sixth round, the New York Jets drafted Ganaway and Robert T. Griffin with back-to-back picks. And three more Bears signed free-agent deals with NFL teams: Elliot Coffey (Broncos), Nicolas Jean-Baptiste (Ravens) and Tracy Robertson (Texans).
My favorite tidbits from the draft: Baylor joins Alabama as the only two schools in the country with multiple first-round picks each of the last two years. Over the past four years, only Alabama and USC have more first-round picks than Baylor, and only Oklahoma has had more top-5 overall picks than Baylor during that time. The Bears’ five picks this year are the most of any school in Texas and second-most in the Big 12.
[LINKS: BaylorBears.com photo gallery || Sic 'Em Sports videos: RG3, Wright pre-draft activities, draft highlights and interviews || 1660 ESPN draft-day interviews with RG3, Wright, Briles and others]
Sic ’em, RG3, Kendall and Baylor football!
Previously on Baylor Proud:
* Pair of Bears selected in NFL draft’s 1st round for first time since 1957 (April 2011)
* Pair of Bears selected in 2010 NFL Draft (April 2010)
* Bears’ Smith the No. 2 overall pick in 2009 NFL Draft (April 2009)