Laboratory and field studies were conducted on rice seeds (Oryza sativa L.) of about 12% moisture content to screen six upland cultivars grown in south-western Nigeria for drought resistance. Maximum germination in the laboratory, and plant height, number of tillers per plant, leaf area, dry weight, and seed yield in the field at all levels of water stress were obtained for the three cultivars: Ekpoma local, FARO-11, and ITA-315. The study showed that germination tests using mannitol can be used to screen rice germplasm for drought resistance. Susceptibility to water stress was shown by decreased germination percentage, reduction in root length, reduced leaf area, and stunted growth compared to the resistant cultivars. Chlorophyll and relative water content of the leaves also showed that FARO-11, Ekpoma local, and ITA-315 are drought-resistant genotypes.