Go Bears!
GO Bears!
Go Bears!
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Taylor, Watkins Help Make Baylor History
10:12 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Central | Draft Photo Gallery | Watkins Visits Museum | Reaction: Phil Taylor | Reaction: Danny Watkins

For the first time in 54 years and only the second time in the 76-year history of the NFL Draft, Baylor had two players' names called in the first round Thursday night: DT Phil Taylor was taken with the 21st pick overall by the Cleveland Browns, while OL Danny Watkins was taken two picks later by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Prior to Art Briles' arrival along the Brazos, Baylor had one first-round draft pick in the Big 12 era. One. In the last three years alone, Baylor has produced three first-round draft picks, including Jason Smith in 2009 and his successor (Watkins) in 2011. Taylor and Watkins were two of the eight Big 12 players drafted during Thursday's first round. Baylor was one of six schools with multiple first-round selections, joining Alabama, Auburn, Colorado, Missouri and Wisconsin.

It's only fitting that two of the biggest reasons for Baylor's return to the bowl scene in 2010 were among the first 32 players selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.


 BAYLOR ALL-TIME FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICKS
YEAR NO. PLAYER POS. TEAM
1942 2 Jack Wilson HB Cleveland Rams
1950 2 Adrian Burk QB Baltimore Colts
1952 7 Larry Isbell HB Washington Redskins
1954 5 Cotton Davidson QB Baltimore Colts
1957 11 Del Shofner HB Los Angeles Rams
1957 12 Bill Glass G Detroit Lions
1959 9 Paul Dickson T Los Angeles Rams
1962 7 Ronnie Bull HB Chicago Bears
1965 10 Lawrence Elkins TE Green Bay Packers
1977 10 Gary Green DB Kansas City Chiefs
1979 28 Greg Hawthorne RB Pittsburgh Steelers
1982 12 Walter Abercrombie RB Pittsburgh Steelers
1990 12 James Francis LB Cincinnati Bengals
1996 20 Daryl Gardener DT Miami Dolphins
2009 2 Jason Smith OT St. Louis Rams
2011 21 Phil Taylor
DT Cleveland Browns
2011 23 Danny Watkins OL Philadelphia Eagles

The 2011 NFL Draft continues with Rounds 2-3 Friday and concludes with Rounds 4-7 Saturday. And three more Baylor Bears are still available and could be drafted with one of the final 222 selections - CB Antareis Bryan, RB Jay Finley and S Byron Landor.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Day-After Reaction: Watkins' Philly-Bound
9:51 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Central | Draft Photo Gallery | Watkins Visits Museum | Reaction: Phil Taylor

For the first time in 54 years and only the second time in the 76-year history of the NFL Draft, Baylor had two players' names called in the first round Thursday night: DT Phil Taylor was taken with the 21st pick overall by the Cleveland Browns, while OL Danny Watkins was taken two picks later by the Philadelphia Eagles.

 Watkins became only the fourth Canadian to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, joining Mike Schad (1986, No. 23 by L.A. Rams), Tony Mandarich (1989, No. 2 by Green Bay) and Tim Biakabutuka (1996, No. 8 by Carolina). Watkins is also the first Canadian to be drafted in both the CFL and NFL Drafts since Schad did so in 1986. In part two of our three-part series, here's the morning-after reaction in Philadelphia after the Eagles took gregarious offensive lineman Danny Watkins with the 23rd overall selection:

VIDEO

NEWSSTAND

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Day-After Reaction: Browns Take Taylor with 21st Pick
9:26 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Central | Photo Gallery

For the first time in 54 years and only the second time in the 76-year history of the NFL Draft, Baylor had two players' names called in the first round Thursday night: DT Phil Taylor was taken with the 21st pick overall by the Cleveland Browns, while OL Danny Watkins was taken two picks later by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Phil's first taste of Cleveland? Madden '12 cover boy and Browns RB Peyton Hillis announced the selection and was the first to meet Phil on stage. In part one of our three-part series, here's the morning-after reaction in Cleveland after the Browns made a big addition to their defensive line, trading up to take "Cousin Phil" with the 21st overall pick:

VIDEO

NEWSSTAND

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Mock Drafts: Watkins, Taylor Near First-Round Locks
10:47 A.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

 Baylor standouts Danny Watkins and Phil Taylor are among the league-record 25 players attending this week's 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. And with the first round less than 36 hours away, many mock draft boards project both Baylor players to go in the first round. If that happens, it would mark the first time since 1957 that Baylor had multiple players taken in the first round. In fact, Del Shofner and Bill Glass were taken with back-to-back picks in 1957 by the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions, respectively.

And Baylor fans could see the same thing happen Thursday night with Watkins and Taylor. We've done our best to compile a laundry list of mock draft boards, comparing projections for both Watkins and Taylor. Of the 18 referenced mock draft boards, 12 have both Watkins and Taylor as first-round selections. A full rundown of those mock drafts can be found below.

Tuesday, Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote that Baylor "hopes to enjoy a double dose of respect during the NFL Draft." And Watkins continues to garner tons of publicity north of the border in his native Canada. This time in Montreal.

Be sure to check BaylorBears.com for NFL Draft updates from Sic 'em Sports Productions' Ashley Farrell, who is following Watkins and Taylor all this week in New York.

MOCK DRAFT  
WATKINS
TAYLOR
Sporting News
First Round
No. 28
New England
Second Round
Jim Corbett, USA TODAY First Round
No. 22
Indianapolis
First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Nate Davis, USA TODAY
First Round
No. 23
Philadelphia
First Round
No. 21
Kansas City
Sean Leahy, USA TODAY
First Round
No. 28
New England
Second Round
Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
First Round
No. 28
New England
First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com First Round
No. 31
Pittsburgh
First Round
No. 21
Kansas City
Chad Reuter, NFLDraftScout.com  Second Round
No. 33
New England
Second Round
No. 36
Denver
Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY Second Round Second Round
Peter King, Sports Illustrated First Round
No. 23
Philadelphia
Second Round
Don Banks, SI.com First Round
No. 23
Philadelphia
First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Steve Wyche, NFL.com First Round
No. 31
Pittsburgh
First Round
No. 21
Kansas City
Pat Kirwan, NFL.com Second Round First Round
No. 18
San Diego
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com  Second Round First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Brian Baldinger, NFL Network  First Round
No. 23
Philadelphia
First Round
No. 18
San Diego
Charles Davis, NFL Network  First Round
No. 31
Pittsburgh
First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Todd McShay, ESPN.com*
Insider Subscription Required 
First Round
No. 29
Chicago
First Round
No. 30
New York Jets
Mel Kiper, ESPN.com*
Insider Subscription Required
 
Second Round
No. 33
New England
First Round
No. 24
New Orleans
Adam Caplan, FOXSports.com
Second Round Second Round
No. 29
Chicago

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Epperson Honored by NFF Dallas Chapter
11:42 A.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2011


Baylor All-American punter Derek Epperson with NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter President Gerald Brence

Last Wednesday, Baylor All-American punter Derek Epperson was one of nine football players named to the 2011 Collegiate Gridiron Club of Dallas Scholar-Athletes list by the National Football Foundation (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas. Epperson and other award recipients were honored during the club's third annual banquet last week at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Epperson was a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is considered as the "Academic Heisman." A three-time All-Big 12 honoree, Epperson finished his career third in Baylor history in both punting yards (9,574) and punting average (42.74). He boosted 49 punts of 50-plus yards, ranking second in school history, and launched eight punts of 60 or more yards. He is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree and was named to the ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-America second team in 2010.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).

 


Becoming Kelowna's Local Celebrity
3:55 P.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011


Danny Watkins with firefighter Richard Bliss, left, and Captain Lionel Bateman, right
(Photo contributed to Kelowna Capital News)

Excitement is climbing back in Kelowna, British Columbia, the hometown of Baylor's Danny Watkins. Watkins, who is projected by many to go in the first round in next week's 2011 NFL Draft. And Wednesday, he was featured in his hometown newspaper, Kelowna Capital News.

Watkins continues to be a hot first-round pick in most of the latest NFL mock drafts. ESPN's Todd McShay projects the Chicago Bears to take Watkins with the 29th overall pick of the first round, while NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang has Watkins going 28th to New England and former teammate Phil Taylor 30th to the New York Jets. Rang's NFLDraftScout.com counterpart Chad Reuter has both going in the second round - Watkins with the first pick of the second round (33rd overall) to New England and "Cousin Phil" 36th overall to Denver.

Charles Davis of the NFL Network has Taylor and Watkins going back-to-back in the first round; Taylor to the Jets at No. 30 and Watkins at No. 31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sporting News' Russ Lande also thinks the New York Jets will take Taylor with the 30th overall selection; he also has the Patriots taking Watkins with the first pick of the second round (33rd overall).

The highest mock draft projection for either player comes from Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who thinks Watkins will go 23rd overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Taylor Accepts NFL Draft Invitation
3:09 P.M., MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

First thing's first: both Danny Watkins and Phil Taylor will be on-hand for next week's NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Taylor accepted his bid Monday, according to NFL Network Insider Jason La Confora. Taylor is listed as the fourth-best DT on the SI.com draft board and the fifth-best by ESPN.com (40th overall).

MORE ON DANNY WATKINS
Watkins continues to gain media attention for his path from Canadian firefighter to Baylor starting left tackle to potential NFL first-round draft pick. Everyone knows about his cool gesture, inviting five members of his station to NYC. And Baylor is planning to follow Danny and his firefighting brethren during their trip to New York later this month.

NationalFootballPost.com projects Watkins going 28th overall to the New England Patriots and says the Canadian is intriguing many NFL teams. Here are three good reads on Watkins, including two from this past weekend: A Kelowna firefighter eyes NFL fame (The Globe and Mail), Watkins Draft Elite (Sportsnet.ca) and Former fireman Danny Watkins is hot prospect in NFL draft (The Kansas City Star).

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Larger Than Life
11:36 A.M., MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

This story is a bit outdated, but it's a great one to share nonetheless. Back in February, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch OL LaQuan McGowan signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Baylor. McGowan literally stands larger than life at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds and wearing a size 21 shoe. That night, Amarillo's KAMR NBC 4/KCIT FOX 14 ran McGowan's remarkable story during the 10 o'clock newscast. Check out McGowan's story below (video courtesy of KAMR NBC 4/KCIT FOX 14):

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Baylor Bears in the Professional Ranks
3:47 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011

There's one more NFL mock draft to add to the list: ESPNDallas.com's Bryan Broaddus projects Phil Taylor to go 30th overall to the New York Jets and Danny Watkins two spots later at 32nd to the Green Bay Packers. And while Phil Taylor and Danny Watkins continue their quest to give Baylor multiple first-round draft picks for the first time since 1957, there are other former Bears continuing their professional playing careers. 

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE (1)
Dan Gay IV
is Baylor's lone representative in the second-year United Football League (UFL). He is on the Omaha Nighthawks provisional roster, which represents plays whose rights have been protected for the 2011 season. Gay had a 2010 training camp stint with the New York Jets and originally was an undrafted free agent in 2009 with the San Diego Chargers; he was on the Jet's practice squad at the end of the 2009 season.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE (4)
Four Baylor alums are playing in the relaunched Arena Football League - Robert Quiroga, Ernest Smith, Trey Bryant and Trent Shelton. Quiroga, playing in his fourth season, is a WR/LB with the Orlando Predators, recording 30 receptions for 388 yards and six TDs. He also has record 10 solo tackles and added two assisted stops. Smith has 18 catches for 214 yards and two TDs in five games for the Milwaukee Mustangs. Bryant plays on the defensive line for the Kansas City Command, while Shelton has nine receptions for 115 yards and three TDs for the Tulsa Talons.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (3)
DL Khari Long enters his third year north of the border and his second with the Calgary Stampeders. He made his CFL debut July 1, 2009, with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and played nearly two full seasons with the Ticats before being released; he signed with Calgary as a free agent in Oct. 2010.

When the 2011 season kicks off, Montez Murphy will be in his fourth season. Murphy returns to the Saskatchewan Roughriders after posting 14 tackles and three sacks in 2010. He played for the Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009. RB Brandon Whitaker is returning to the Montreal Alouettes for his third season in 2011. Whitaker has 262 rushing yards with two touchdowns in his first two CFL seasons.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Pre-Draft Visits and Mock Drafts
3:48 P.M., THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011

Two weeks from today, the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft will air in primetime (7 p.m. CDT) on ESPN. Some of the latest NFL mock draft projections show that Baylor could be closer to boasting multiple first-round NFL draft picks for the first time since 1957. Of the five mock drafts on NFL.com, four of them project Phil Taylor as a first-round selection, while two list Danny Watkins as a first-rounder.

Don Banks of SI.com now has Watkins going 23rd overall to the Philadelphia Eagles and Taylor 30th to the New York Jets, according to his latest mock board Wednesday. In a different take on mock drafts, ESPN.com's Todd McShay ran through the first round with a pair of current NFL scouts (Insider subscription required). The verdict: Taylor goes 29th to the Chicago Bears and Watkins concludes the first round, going 32nd to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

Now that both players are firmly on the first-round radars of NFL teams, they are each making pre-draft visits to several organizations. Taylor has either made visits or has scheduled visits with the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints.

Watkins has been reported to have made (or will make) visits with San Diego, Washington, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Denver. The firefighter-turned-NFL-prospect continues to catch the attention of media members nationwide with his amazing story. He even graced the front page of FOXSports.com Thursday.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


Watkins, Taylor Invited to Attend NFL Draft
11:53 A.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2011

Two of the biggest reasons for Baylor's recent resurgence which resulted in its first bowl trip in 16 seasons have been invited to attend the 2011 NFL Draft later this month in New York City. Canadian OL Danny Watkins will attend the Draft at Radio City Music Hall and has invited five firefighters to join him at the Draft. That's a pretty cool gesture by Watkins; ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben agrees.

Watkins' defensive counterpart at Baylor, DT Phil Taylor, has also been invited and is expected to attend the NFL Draft, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

Last May, Watkins was taken with the No. 4 overall pick by the B.C. Lions in the 2010 CFL Draft. Vancouver Sun writer Mike Beamish notes that Watkins could become the first Canadian selected in the first rounds of the NFL/CFL drafts since Mike Schad in 1986 (No. 4 by Ottawa Renegades, No. 23 by L.A. Rams).

According to the latest draft projections by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. (Insider subscription required), "Cousin Phil" is projected to go in the first round to the New Orleans Saints with the 24th overall pick. Kiper tabbed Watkins as the first selection of the second round - 33rd overall - to the New England Patriots. ESPN's Todd McShay has the Baylor products going back-to-back (Insider subscription required) in the first round - Taylor to the New York Jets at No. 30 and Watkins at No. 31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Another draft projection (SI.com's Don Banks) has Watkins going 28th overall to the Patriots and Taylor 30th to the Jets.

Speaking of the Steelers, Taylor met with team officials Tuesday after making a pre-draft visit to the New York Jets on Monday. Watkins has made many team visits, which we will cover later.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).


FSN Releases Big 12 Spring Football Series Schedule
10:47 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011

FSN kicks off its annual Big 12 Conference Spring Football series this weekend with the first of six 30-minute specials recapping spring drills and previewing the 2011 season for the Texas and Oklahoma schools. The series, now in its 10th season, will be carried on FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Oklahoma. It begins Saturday, April 9 at 11:00 AM CT with Texas Tech and will be followed by Baylor (Saturday, April 16, 10:00 PM CT), Texas (Sunday, April 17, 10:00 PM CT), Oklahoma State (Saturday, April 30, 10:00 AM CT), Oklahoma (Saturday, April 30, 11:00 AM CT), and Texas A&M (Saturday, April 30, 10:00 PM CT).

Shows will be televised several times throughout the spring and summer, leading to the start of football practice. They'll include spring game highlights, in-depth analysis by the coaching staff, feature stories on players who are expected to make an impact in 2011 and commentary by Scout.com correspondents.

Segments from the shows will be posted on FoxSportsSouthwest.com and FoxSportsHouston.com. Spring football reports and analysis by Scout.com correspondents also will available on the two FOX Sports regional websites.

Baylor alum and football letterwinner Matt Scales and sports reporter Leslie McCaslin visited the Baylor campus March 25 for interviews with head coach Art Briles, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and player interviews with Robert Griffin III Terrance Ganaway, Philip Blake, Chris McAllister and Elliot Coffey.

Big 12 football returns to FSN this fall with exclusive game coverage and weekly magazine and coaches shows. The broadcast schedule will be announced prior to the start of the season.

BIG 12 CONFERENCE SPRING FOOTBALL SERIES SCHEDULE
FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Houston, FOX Sports Oklahoma
*All times CENTRAL; Schedule subject to change

BAYLOR
Saturday, April 16 - 10 p.m.
Monday, April 18 - Noon
Tuesday, April 19 - 4 p.m.
Friday, April 22 - 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 23 - 5 p.m. (Not available on FOX Sports Houston)
Tuesday, May 3 - 6 p.m. (Not available in markets carrying Houston Astros game)
Monday, May 9 - 10:30 p.m. (Not available on FOX Sports Houston)
Wednesday, May 11 - 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 - 10 a.m.

For football updates, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Football (@BUFootball).

Bearblogs Unlimited Home
This is Bear Country
Live In-Game Blog
Full Court Press
Lady Bear Hoop Happenings
The Kaye Zone
Cuttin' in 'the Baylor' Line
Ask Ian
Sic 'Em Blog
A View From the Hill