Only four years ago, the Baylor Football team went 1-11 and the 2018 NFL Draft didn’t have any Bears picked for the first time since 2008. After a quick turnaround and a 6-6 finish in former head coach Matt Rhule’s second season, senior transfer WR Jalen Hurd was picked third in the third round of the 2019 Draft—the lone Bear chosen that season. The 2019 Baylor football squad found success with an 11-1 regular season record and trips to the Big 12 Championship game and a challenge against No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Because of that team’s achievements, four Baylor athletes were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft with 10 more signed to teams as undrafted free agents. In 2020-21 during head coach Dave Aranda’s first year where Baylor went 2-7, LB William Bradley-King was the only Bear called up with his name in the 7th round as the 240th overall pick. This year’s group of eligible Baylor draftees are already surpassing expectations with four athletes selected in the second and third rounds on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft! The 2021 squad finished arguably the best season in program history with a program-high 12 wins, their first-ever Big 12 Championship title game victory, the first and only New Years 6 bowl win in the CFP era, and 5 wins over Top 25 opponents for their most top-25 wins in a season since at least 1974! Although no Baylor players were called up during the first round, the Bears are already tied with Ohio State and LSU for the fourth-most selections of any college team on just day two of the 2022 NFL Draft coming up only behind Georgia with 9, Alabama who has 6, and Cincinnati with 5.
Baylor hero and star S Jalen Pitre was the first Bear picked in the second round as 37th overall by the Houston Texans. WR Tyquan Thornton (or should I say “TYQUAAAAAAN!”) was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round at No. 50. S JT Woods aka HBK and LB Terrel Bernard were both chosen in the third round with Woods going to the Los Angeles Chargers as 79th overall and Bernard with the Buffalo Bills at No. 89. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), these selections are the first time since 1984 and the third time in program history that four Baylor athletes were chosen in the first three rounds of the Draft! The rest of the Big 12 only has three picks overall, which marks the obvious fact that Baylor is the conference’s Goliath. Over five seasons, Pitre notched 196 tackles with 23 for a loss of 138 yards, 5 sacks for a loss of 35 yards, 4 interceptions, 14 passes deflected, and 4 forced fumbles. In four seasons, Thornton had 143 catches for 2,242 yards and 19 TDs along with 1 completion of 1 passing attempt for 6 yards and 1 TD. Woods recorded 157 tackles with 2.5 for a loss of 13 yards, 1 sack for a loss of 11 yards, 9 interceptions, 14 passes deflected, and 3 fumble recoveries in four seasons. Bernard, closing out the bunch on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft, amassed 320 tackles with 22.5 for a loss of 144 yards, 12 sacks for a loss of 82 yards, 3 interceptions, 11 passes deflected, and 3 fumble recoveries over the span of five seasons. Now let’s see more Bears taken in the coming rounds!