3 NFL teams that love drafting Texas football players

Which NFL teams have focused the most on drafting Texas players?
Cedric Benson, Texas football
Cedric Benson, Texas football / Chris Trotman/GettyImages
4 of 4
Cedric Benson
Cedric Benson / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears (27)

The NFL team that most overwhelmingly loves to select Longhorns players in the draft is the Chicago Bears.

Since 1943, the Bears are not only the team with the most players drafted from Texas with 27, but Chicago has also picked the most in the first round. The Bears have drafted a half dozen Longhorns in the first round, including three top 10 picks.

The Bears took fliers out on two Longhorns players in the 1948 NFL Draft, selecting quarterback Bobby Layne and defensive end Max Bumgardner. Neither Bumgardner nor Layne would play with Chicago for any longer than one season, though.

Among the former Longhorns that the Bears selected in the NFL Draft, three went on to be Pro Bowlers in Chicago. Over a half-dozen also emerged as multi-year starters for the Bears.

The most recent first round pick the Bears had from Texas was running back Cedric Benson. Chicago selected Benson fourth overall pick and the second running back taken after Miami selected Ronnie Brown second in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Benson had a few productive seasons for the Bears, including one as the starting running back in 2007. Before being traded to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008, Benson registered over 1,500 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns over three seasons with the Bears.

The Bears also drafted two multi-year starters and Pro Bowlers from Texas in the 2000s in defensive end Henry Melton and lockdown corner Nathan Vasher.

Vasher was a key starter as part of a Bears unit that led the league in total defense in 2005. He also started for a Bears defense that was one of the best in the NFL again in 2006, while leading Chicago to an NFC Championship in that same season.

Melton ranked second on the team in sacks and third in forced fumbles en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection in 2012 with the Bears.

But Benson, Melton, and Vasher aren't the only Longhorns players who have made an impact as Bears draftees since the turn of the century.

Chicago seemingly got a steal in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, picking running back Roschon Johnson 115th overall. As a rookie, Johnson rushed tallied well over 500 yards and multiple rushing touchdowns as one of the league's most productive first-year backs.

Check out our latest Texas football articles on Hook'em Headlines