Bryce Petty spent a long couple of days in Midlothian watching the NFL Draft, wondering who might select him and when. None of the teams thought to be most interested in the Baylor quarterback drafted him.
Instead, the New York Jets ended Petty’s wait by taking him with the fourth pick of the fourth round — No. 103 overall.
“I’m so dang excited,” Petty said. “That was the longest 48 hours I’ve ever had in my life, so to get that call, honestly, it was unbelievable.
“I’m so excited. I’m ready to get down there now and meet with the guys, meet with the coaches, and I’m so thankful for coach [Todd] Bowles and the front office, and Mr. [Woody] Johnson, all those guys that gave me the opportunity.”
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Speculation before the draft had Petty possibly going to New Orleans on Thursday with the 31st overall pick. That didn’t happen as the Saints selected Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony with that choice.
Petty slipped in the draft because of questions about his NFL readiness, and teams viewed him as a project.
“You have people that question you and that was their decision, so my job now is to prove to the other 31 teams what they’re missing out on,” Petty said. “I’m so excited to be a Jet right now and get to further my playing career in New York, and that’s all I’m worried about now.
“I’m still very confident in my abilities. I think you have to be as any competitor, especially at quarterback and especially at quarterback in the NFL.”
Petty, who had a 21-4 record, 8,195 yards passing, 62 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his college career, joins an unsettled group at quarterback. He will compete with Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Simms.
Petty led a contingent of 10 players from Texas colleges drafted on the final day. In all, 15 players from Texas colleges were drafted. The University of Texas, which had no players drafted last year, led the way with five picks.
Petty and Texas Southern cornerback Tray Walker were the only choices from Texas colleges drafted in the fourth round. Walker went to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 136 overall, the final pick of the round. He was the first TSU player drafted since 2000.
Three others followed in the fifth round: Texas safety Mykkele Thompson to the Giants at No. 144; A&M guard Jarvis Harrison to the Jets at No. 152; and Texas State linebacker David Mayo to the Carolina Panthers at No. 169.
Thompson was the surprise, as even he didn’t expect to be drafted.
“Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go,” Thompson said. “Obviously, free agency was a possibility. I didn’t put that good of numbers up this past season, so I thought free agency was going to be the main goal.”
Three players from Texas colleges were drafted in the sixth round: TCU offensive lineman Tayo Fabuluje, an Arlington Oak Ridge product, went to the Chicago Bears at No. 183; Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs went to the Detroit Lions at No. 200; and Rice defensive tackle Christian Covington went to the Houston Texans at No. 216.
Two more went in the seventh round: Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager to the Rams at No. 224; and Texas tight end Geoff Swaim to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 246.
Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel from Mansfield Legacy was taken in the sixth round (182) by Washington.