Baylor Bears' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
Doug Pensinger // Getty Images

Baylor Bears' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Baylor Bears using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Denzel Mims (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #59 overall in 2020
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#19. Bruce Davis (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #50 overall in 1984
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#18. Randy Grimes (C)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #45 overall in 1983
- Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (0 Pro Bowls)

#17. Ray Berry (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #44 overall in 1987
- Drafted by: Minnesota Vikings
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#16. Cedric Mack (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #44 overall in 1983
- Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#15. Ron Francis (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #39 overall in 1987
- Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#14. Xavien Howard (CB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #38 overall in 2016
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (3 Pro Bowls)

#13. Mike Singletary (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #38 overall in 1981
- Drafted by: Chicago Bears
- Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (10 Pro Bowls)

#12. Robert Blackmon (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #34 overall in 1990
- Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (0 Pro Bowls)

#11. Greg Hawthorne (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #28 overall in 1979
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#10. Danny Watkins (G)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #23 overall in 2011
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#9. Phil Taylor (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #21 overall in 2011
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#8. Daryl Gardener (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #20 overall in 1996
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Kendall Wright (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #20 overall in 2012
- Drafted by: Tennessee Titans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#6. Corey Coleman (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 2016
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Walter Abercrombie (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 1982
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#4. James Francis (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 1990
- Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (0 Pro Bowls)

#3. Gary Green (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #10 overall in 1977
- Drafted by: Kansas City Chiefs
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (4 Pro Bowls)

#2. Robert Griffin III (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 2012
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (1 Pro Bowls)

#1. Jason Smith (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 2009
- Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

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