The 2015 Baylor Bears will try to make school history by winning a third consecutive conference championship. It takes plenty of next-level players to achieve such a goal, which is why Baylor could make more history come next April's NFL draft.
Sack master Shawn Oakman, who likely would have been a first-round pick this year had he declared for the draft, is the most well-known. Left tackle Spencer Drango is entering his third season as protecting the blind side of Baylor's quarterback. The third? Defensive tackle Andrew Billings, who gets overshadowed by Oakman, but has been a ferocious presence for the Bears.
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If all three do get selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, it would be the first time in Baylor history that it had more than two first-round selections.
Before coach Art Briles took over the program following Baylor's 2007 season, a 3-9 campaign that produced a fourth-round pick (punter Daniel Sepulveda) and a seventh-round pick (defensive back C.J. Wilson), first-round selections were few and far between.
Between 1982, when tailback Walter Abercrombie went No. 12 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, just two other Bears players were picked in the first round prior to Briles' hiring (linebacker James Francis, 1990, and defensive tackle Daryl Gardener, 1996).
Since Briles arrived, Baylor has produced five first-round picks, including two first-rounders in 2011 (defensive tackle Phillip Taylor and guard Danny Watkins) and 2012 (quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Kendall Wright).