WACO, Texas — The 2020 NFL Draft, the first of its kind, ended Saturday as 255 hopeful professional football players were hoping to have their dreams come true.
Among them, four who got the call they've dreamt of since they were kids hail from Baylor University, headlined by wide receiver Denzel Mims.
The four player selection is a program best since 2016, when six Bears were drafted. It's the first time Baylor has had multiple players selected in the draft since that 2016 draft, too.
WR Denzel Mims - 2nd round - No. 59 overall - New York Jets
Mims was the BU offense's biggest weapon during Baylor's storybook 2019 season. He caught 66 balls for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior, helping guide the Bears to an 11-3 season in which they played in their first Big 12 Championship Game and third New Year's Six/BCS Bowl (Sugar).
The Jets finished 7-9 in 2019, third in the AFC East. Mims could be a much-needed offensive weapon for QB Sam Darnold, without whom, NY scored less than 10 points per game last season.
DE James Lynch - 4th round - No. 130 overall - Minnesota Vikings
After a record-setting career, Lynch left Baylor a year early after earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-Big 12 in his junior campaign. Lynch anchored a Baylor defensive line which was instrumental on the BU defense in its 11-3 Big 12 runner-up finish and helped them make the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Lynch, the first recruit Matt Rhule visited after taking the Baylor job, led the Big 12 with a Baylor single-season record 13.5 sacks in 2019, sixth-most nationally. He finished the season with 19.5 total tackles for loss, seventh-most in program history.
With 22.0 career sacks, Lynch also owns the Baylor career sacks record and ranks seventh in career tackles for loss, with 22.5.
Lynch will fit in nicely with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on defense and joins a Minnesota squad which went 10-6, making the playoffs from the NFC North as a wild card team. The Vikings beat New Orleans in the Wild Card Round before falling at San Francisco in the Divisional Round.
DT Bravvion Roy - 6th round - No. 184 overall - Carolina Panthers
Roy joins departed Baylor head coach Matt Rhule with the Panthers, after Rhule became the first newly-hired NFL head coach to draft his collegiate player since Pete Carroll did it when the Seattle Seahawks hired him from USC in 2010.
Roy had a season-high eight tackles in the marquee prime-time game against Oklahoma on Nov. 16, 2019. He totaled 61 total tackles as a senior with 35 solo and 5.5 sacks. His final season saw Roy make 14 total tackles for loss.
He joins a Panthers squad which needs to rebuild its defense, after allowing a franchise-worst 29.4 points per game, finishing 5-11 and ending the season on an eight-game losing streak. Rhule replaces the fired Ron Rivera. The Panthers became the first NFL team to make at least seven draft picks and choose all defensive players in modern NFL Draft history.
LB Clay Johnston - 7th round - No. 234 overall - Los Angeles Rams
Johnston was selected by a Rams team which narrowly missed the playoffs, finish 2019 at 9-7. Johnston was a captain until his senior season ended after a knee injury suffered late in Baylor's 2OT homecoming win against Texas Tech.
Despite his injury, he earned second team All-Big 12 honors. Johnston's career at BU ended with four straight double-digit tackle performances, including a team-high 13 against Iowa State and averaged roughly 10 tackles per game through Baylor's 6-0 start.
Baylor was tied for second in the Big 12 Conference in players selected in this weekend's NFL Draft, tying the Oklahoma team which handed it two of its three losses in 2019. Texas Tech was also the only school to have a player selected in the first round of the most recent NFL, Major League Baseball and NBA drafts.
TCU - 5:
- WR Jalen Reagor - 1st round - No. 21 overall - Philadelphia Eagles
- DB Jeff Gladney - 1st round - No. 31 overall - Minnesota Vikings
- DL Ross Blacklock - 2nd round - No. 40 overall - Houston Texans
- OL Lucas Niang - 3rd round - No. 96 overall - Kansas City Chiefs
- S Vernon Scott - 7th round - No. 364 overall - Green Bay Packers
Oklahoma - 4:
- WR CeeDee Lamb - 1st round - No. 17 overall - Dallas Cowboys
- LB Kenneth Murray - 1st round - No. 23 overall - Los Angeles Chargers
- QB Jalen Hurts - 2nd round - No. 53 overall - Philadelphia Eagles
- DL Neville Gallimore - 3rd round - No. 82 overall - Dallas Cowboys
Texas - 3:
- S Brandon Jones - 3rd round - No. 70 overall - Miami Dolphins
- WR Devin Duvernay - 3rd round - No. 92 overall - Baltimore Ravens
- WR Collin Johnson - 5th round - No. 165 overall - Jacksonville Jaguars
Texas Tech - 2:
- LB Jordyn Brooks - 1st round - No. 27 overall - Seattle Seahawks
- DL Broderick Washington Jr. - 5th round - No. 170 overall - Baltimore Ravens
West Virginia - 2:
- S Kenny Robinson Jr. - 5th round - No. 152 overall - Carolina Panthers (last played at WVU in 2018, played in XFL in 2020)
- OL Colton McKivitz - 5th round - No. 153 overall - San Francisco 49ers
Kansas - 1:
- OL Hakeem Adeniji - 6th round - No. 180 overall - Cincinnati Bengals
Iowa State - 0
Kansas State - 0
Oklahoma State - 0
Other Texas colleges to have players selected:
Texas A&M - 2:
- DL Justin Madubuike - 3rd round - No. 71 overall - Baltimore Ravens
- P Braden Mann - 6th round - No. 191 overall - New York Jets
Houston - 1:
- OL Josh Jones - 3rd round - No. 72 overall - Arizona Cardinals
SMU - 1:
- WR James Proche - 6th round - No. 201 overall - Baltimore Ravens
After the draft, several Baylor players signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Although a typically tougher path to a 53-man roster, UFA's have often become massively impactful players in the NFL.
- S Chris Miller - Seattle Seahawks
- S Blake Lynch - Minnesota Vikings
- DB Jameson Houston - Cleveland Browns
- DB Grayland Arnold - Philadelphia Eagles
- DL James Lockhart - Pittsburgh Steelers
- RB JaMycal Hasty - San Francisco 49ers
- LS Ross Matiscik - Jacksonville Jaguars
- LB Jordan Williams - Atlanta Falcons
- OL Sam Tecklenburg - Carolina Panthers
Among other undrafted free agents, Belton's Zack Shackelford (Texas) signed with Tampa Bay and Midway's JoJo Ward (Hawai'i) signed with the Arizona Cardinals.