The Lone Star State claimed bragging rights in the 2016 NFL draft. Texas edged Florida in number of total players selected with 32. The Sunshine State produced 30 this year after leading in 2014 with 44 and 2015 with 39.
Two Texas high schools logged a pair of NFL picks. Mansfield Legacy’s Josh Doctson (TCU) went in the first round to the Washington Redskins and teammate Rees Odhiambo (Boise State) wound up as the third-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks.
Houston Wheatley also hit the draft double. Cornerbacks William Jackson III (Houston), a first-round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, and Xavien Howard (Baylor), the Miami Dolphins second-round selection, both played for the Wildcats.
Four Texans reached the NFL’s first round. In addition to Doctson and Jackson, Corey Coleman (Richardson Pearce, Baylor) and Germain Ifedi (Houston Westside, Texas A&M) found homes with Cleveland and Seattle.
The Browns tapped into the Texas pipeline in a big way. After taking Coleman with its initial pick, Cleveland selected Emmanuel Ogbah (Richmond George Bush, Oklahoma State) in the second round and Derrick Kindred (San Antonio Wagner, TCU) in the fourth round. The Browns tabbed two Texans in the fifth round, Baylor’s Spencer Drango (Cedar Park) and Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins (Mesquite).
Of the 32 Texans taken by the NFL, 21 played collegiate football in their native state. Baylor and TCU headed the list with five selections each. Houston and Texas Tech tied for second with three picks apiece.
Andrews Billings (Waco) and Jimmy Landes (Tyler Lee) rounded out the Baylor contingent with Billings going to Cincinnati in round four and Landes to Detroit in round six.
For the Horned Frogs, Joey Hunt (El Campo), Kolby Listenbee (Bowie), and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Haltom City) completed the NFL picks. Seattle and Buffalo grabbed Hunt and Listenbee in the sixth, while Philadelphia named Vaitai in the fifth.
The Bears paced all Texas schools with six NFL picks. Basketball player Rico Gaithers, a Louisiana native, went in the sixth round to the Dallas Cowboys.