Four Bears selected in 2020 NFL Draft; 10 more sign free agent deals
Four cornerstone players who helped elevate the Baylor football team from a one-win season to the Sugar Bowl had their NFL dreams come true over the weekend when they heard their names called in the 2020 NFL Draft: Denzel Mims, James Lynch, Bravvion Roy and Clay Johnston.
It started in the second round, when the New York Jets selected wide receiver Denzel Mims with the 59th overall pick. Mims, who finished his Baylor career in the top six in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, is Baylor’s highest draft pick since Corey Coleman was selected 15th overall in 2016.
Next up was one of the most dominant defensive lineman in Baylor history, James Lynch, who was taken in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings. The 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the year, Lynch set a Big 12 single-season record with 13.5 sacks to lift his career total to 22 — also a Baylor record — in three seasons in the green and gold.
In the sixth round, another standout defensive lineman heard his name called — by his former coach, no less. Bravvion Roy will be heading to the Carolina Panthers to play for former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, making Roy the first player in a decade to go to the NFL with his college coach. He had a breakout year as a senior, finishing as an all Big-12 first-team honoree.
Linebacker Clay Johnston got the call in the seventh round, selected by the Los Angeles Rams. For Johnston, the selection was the latest step in an emotional year that saw him grow as a defensive leader, only to see a potential all-America season cut short halfway through by a knee injury — but such was his play that he still finished as an all-Big 12 performer and an NFL draftee.
The quartet of standouts aren’t the only Bears who earned a chance at the next level; 10 more signed free agent contracts after the draft. That list includes running back JaMycal Hasty (San Francisco 49ers); linebackers Blake Lynch (Minnesota) and Jordan Williams (Atlanta Falcons); safeties Grayland Arnold (Philadelphia Eagles), Chris Miller (Seattle Seahawks) and Henry Black (Green Bay); cornerback Jameson Houston (Cleveland Browns); defensive end James Lockhart (Pittsburgh Steelers); long snapper Ross Matiscik (Jacksonville Jaguars); and offensive lineman Sam Tecklenburg (Carolina).
In all, 10 members of Baylor’s stout 2019 defense have earned an NFL chance, and the four Bears selected represents the program’s highest total since six got the call in 2016.
Sic ’em, Baylor NFL draftees!