Who knew that the University of Wisconsin would become one of the best factories for NFL prospects, it’s surely come a long way in the last twenty years.
The Badgers nine top-75 picks over the last three years are as many as Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan combined. The only two schools in the nation with more top-75 picks over that span are Alabama (13) and LSU (12).
#1 (31st overall) – OL Travis Frederick (Dallas Cowboys)
The computer science major is a huge add for the Cowboys. It was probably a reach in the first round, but Jerry Jones wasn’t going to let the top-rated center in the draft get away from him. Frederick will now work with popular quarterback Tony Romo who also hails from the great state of Wisconsin. Dallas currently has three centers on the roster, so it’s possible Frederick could get a look the guard position as well.
Frederick also saved the Big Ten Conference from a huge embarrassment of not having a player drafted in the first round for the first time since 1953.
#2 (58th overall) – RB Montee Ball (Denver Broncos)
Denver has recently expressed concerns on whether last year’s draft choice Ronnie Hillman is an “every-down back,” suggesting that Ball will have an opportunity to step in right away and be on the field early and often. One strength that Ball has over Hillman is his above-average blocking skills. Keeping their four-time MVP, Peyton Manning, away from opposing defenders and off the ground seems to be something Ball can do.
Here’s more on Ball being a perfect fit for the Broncos.
#5 (168th overall) – OL Ricky Wagner (Baltimore Ravens)
With the Ravens grabbing Wagner in the fifth round it meant that all five of Wisconsin’s 2010 starting offensive lineman had been drafted: Gabe Carimi (1st round), Jon Moffitt (3), Peter Konz (2), Kevin Zeitler (1) and Wagner (5). Wagner is a hard-working kid who has experience at left and right tackle. I’m guessing the Super Bowl champs will play him at both positions to see which one he’s better suited for.
S Shelton Johnson – Oakland Raiders
CB Devin Smith – Dallas Cowboys
CB Marcus Cromartie – San Diego Chargers
What did you think of this year’s group of Badgers to go pro? 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 email@example.com.
*Images obtained from denverbroncos.com and dallascowboysnation.com