#NextLevelBU: 18 Baylor alumni with NFL franchises in 2020
If you’re an NFL fan, chances are good you’ve seen a former Baylor Bear play at some point this fall.
With 13 former Bears having played in the NFL this year (and another five on practice squads or reserve lists), Baylor football is well-represented at the next level. (In fact, four games this past weekend — Seahawks/Eagles, Panthers/Vikings, Dolphins/Jets, and Jaguars/Browns — actually featured former Bears on both rosters.) Many of these Bears in the NFL were wearing the green and gold not too long ago; Baylor’s 2018 Texas Bowl roster now includes 14 pros.
It’s been an eventful year for former Bears, too:
- Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard leads the league with seven interceptions — a figure higher than eight entire teams on the year.
- Just last week, former Baylor long-snapper Jon Weeks played in his 170th game with the Houston Texans, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in games played.
- Rookie Denzel Mims has quickly established himself as one of the New York Jets’ leading receivers.
- Before suffering a season-ending injury, JaMycal Hasty scored his first career touchdown earlier this year for the San Francisco 49ers.
In all, 13 former players have seen action in the NFL this year:
- Grayland Arnold, cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
- Henry Black (BSED ’18), safety, Green Bay Packers
- Kyle Fuller (BA ’16), center, Seattle Seahawks
- Robert Griffin III (BA ’10), quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
- Bryce Hager (BSED ’14), linebacker, New York Jets
- JaMycal Hasty (BSED ’18), running back, San Francisco 49ers
- Xavien Howard, cornerback, Miami Dolphins
- James Lynch, defensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings
- Ross Matiscik (BBA ’18, MS ’19), long snapper, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Denzel Mims (BSED ’20), wide receiver, New York Jets
- Bravvion Roy (BSED ’20), defensive tackle, Carolina Panthers
- Sam Tecklenburg (BA ’18, MA ’19), offensive lineman, Carolina Panthers
- Jon Weeks (BSED ’07), long snapper, Houston Texans
Five more are on NFL practice squads, injured reserve lists, or have opted out for 2020 due to the pandemic:
- Andrew Billings (BA ’18), defensive tackle, Cleveland Browns
- Jameson Houston (BSED ’19), cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
- Jalen Hurd, wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers
- Clay Johnston (BSED ’18), linebacker, Carolina Panthers
- Blake Lynch (BSED ’18), linebacker, Minnesota Vikings
And of course, former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule is in his first year at the helm of the Carolina Panthers, where he has brought in three of his former Baylor players to join the team.
While we don’t have exact records in one place, it’s hard to recall 18 players at the next level at one time; it’s one example of Baylor football excellence that we celebrate. Another: Last month, Baylor football led the Big 12 for a fourth straight year with a graduate success rate of 91% — a top-10 national figure, and the program’s best in 16 years. (Related note: 14 of the 18 Bears in the NFL completed their degrees at Baylor.)
Sic ’em, Bears in the NFL!