With the recent rise of the Wisconsin college football program the Badgers in the NFL have had a similar uptick.
More and more guys are beginning to have a splash in the league and the guys over at Pro Football Focus (PFF) have an eagle eye on each one of them. If you’re not familiar with PFF, you’re living in the stone age of modern football analysis. Here at The Sports Bank, we’re big supporters of what they do, so we’ve oriented our weekly check-up around what they’re saying about Badgers in the NFL.
Badgers in the NFL for week 16 was all about the offensive line. The Buffalo Bills’ Kraig Urbik was truly special in a dominating win over the Miami Dolphins.
1.) Buffalo Bills OG Kraig Urbik
Badgers Tenure: 2005-08
Week 16 Play: “Kraig Urbik (+6.1) is perhaps the best guard no one’s ever heard of. Every year he’s played he’s graded green and, while he has had a few bad games, he generally plays well without too much commotion. Well maybe this was his coming out party. A perfect game in pass protection, good screen blocking and high quality work in the running game at both the point of attack and second level all combined to make for the best game of his career.” – PFF’s Analysis of the Bills’ 19-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.
– Urbik made PFF’s Team of the Week 16: “That’s the best we’ve ever seen from Urbik who has quietly had himself a very solid year.”
2.) Cleveland Browns OT Joe Thomas
Badgers Tenure: 2003-06
Week 16 Play: “In contrast, Joe Thomas (+2.8) has re-established himself as our top-graded tackle. He gave up only a hit and a hurry in 46 drop-backs to lead the Browns in terms of pass blocking (+2.2).” – PFF’s Analysis of the Browns’ 24-13 loss to the New York Jets.
– Thomas was a shoe-in for a starting spot on the PFF Pro Bowl Team.
– Dallas Cowboys C Travis Frederick (2009-12) has made his way to #9 on PFF’s Race for Rookie of the Year: “Possibly the most ridiculed pick in the 2013 draft, but who’s laughing now? Frederick is our fifth-ranked center on the year and within touching distance of the top spot thanks to his +16.6 run blocking grade that is second best of all centers. The work in pass protection is something he needs to get better at but this has been a big win for the Cowboys securing him.”
– Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (2011) was very “ordinary” in a 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. A bad week takes nothing away from his solid sophomore season as he was named a back-up for the PFF Pro Bowl Team.
– Detroit Lions LB DeAndre Levy (2005-08) has had a great year and was honorable mention for PFF’s Team of Week 16.
– Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt (2009-10) has dominated all year and earned a starting spot on the PFF Pro Bowl Team.
For an extensive list on all the Badgers in the NFL, check out the Badgers in the NFL page at UWBadgers.com
Do the Wisconsin Badgers have a special pipeline of offensive lineman to the NFL or what? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Pictures obtained from buffalobills.com and orchardparkviews.com.