Teven Jenkins teared up.
On Thursday night, Jenkins was anticipating a phone call from an NFL team. He watched the first round of the NFL draft from his home in Topeka, Kansas, expecting to be the first Oklahoma State Cowboy picked in the first round since Justin Gilbert in 2014.
The call never came.
Instead, he had to wait one more day. Once again watching the draft from home on Friday night, Jenkins’ phone rang as former Chicago Bears wide receiver Rashied Davis walked to the podium on the stage.
Jenkins answered the phone, greeted by Bears head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. They broke the news. Jenkins would be heading to Chicago. With the 39th overall pick, the Bears selected Jenkins.
Jenkins walked around the room, hugging his family, smiling, and tearing up. He said he got emotional seeing all his hard work pay off.
“Coming to the beautiful city of Chicago, I’m really excited,” Jenkins said. “I’m ready to get to work.”
His teammates wouldn’t wait much longer. On Saturday, three more Cowboys were selected in the draft, all three headed for the East Coast.
Running back Chuba Hubbard was selected in the fourth round, pick No. 126, by the Carolina Panthers. Coach Matt Rhule, who saw Hubbard play in college while coaching the Baylor Bears, said he couldn’t pass on selecting Hubbard.
Five picks later, wide receiver Tylan Wallace was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, No. 131 overall. Wallace joins quarterback Lamar Jackson and wide receivers Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins in Baltimore.
Wallace said he brings several assets to the Ravens, and is excited to join the team in Baltimore.
“It is still crazy to me, it is still surreal to me that I’m going to be actually catching passes from (Jackson),” Wallace said. “He is an inspiration to all the young guys like me. So being able to go (to Baltimore) and just hang out with him, build that chemistry, I can’t wait for it.”
Two rounds later, cornerback Rodarius Williams was selected by the New York Giants at pick No. 201 overall. Williams said he was on his porch with his mother when he received the call from the Giants.
“She was helping me stay level-headed and keep faith,” Williams said. “”The team that God wants me to be with will call, so it was destined for me to be a part of this organization.”
Williams joins his older brother, Greedy, a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns, in the NFL.
Rodarius Williams wasn’t the end for Cowboys finding opportunities in the NFL. Several hours after the draft concluded, four players signed undrafted free agent deals.
Linebacker Calvin Bundage and Amen Ogbongbemiga found new homes. Bundage agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ogbongbemiga with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Wide receiver Dillon Stoner signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, joining former teammate Marcell Ateman. Defensive lineman Cameron Murray agreed to terms with the Arizona Cardinals.
With the four draft selections, OSU has had 175 players drafted all-time. With coach Mike Gundy, the number rises to 31.