The 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and will be broadcast live on ESPN at 7 PM CT. Tonight is just the first round, rounds 2-3 are on Friday and the draft concludes with rounds 4-7 on Saturday. It will be a fun watch for Badgers fans as Wisconsin is pretty well-represented on both sides of the ball in this year’s draft.
Of course getting drafted is not a guarantee of success at the professional level. Some Wisconsin draft hopefuls may find longstanding success on Sunday’s while others may hardly see the field for the entirety of their career.
We at Badger of Honor want to know who the Wisconsin faithful believe will have the best professional career. Will Wisconsin have a former player drafted in the first round? That seems unlikely. But over the next six rounds there are multiple players who will be drafted and could make some waves in the NFL.
Check out our Mock Draft to get a more detailed look at where we believe the Badgers’ top former-players will land. But what we want to know is who do you, the fans, think will be the most successful NFL player of the bunch?
Here is a quick bio on each of Wisconsin’s top draft-hopefuls.
Chris Borland: A high-motor player who constantly plays larger than he measures up. Has a knack for continually making impact plays but is battling a shoulder injury that, over the last two weeks, has him plummeting down NFL scout’s draft boards. That is unfortunate but if there’s one player I wouldn’t bet against it’s Borland — he could be a star.
James White: A speedy and reliable tailback who has a chance to be one of the Badgers’ most successful running backs in the pros in quite some time. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and pass-protect; those are invaluable assets. Will he find a niche in the NFL and have a great career? I think so.
Jared Abbrederis: By most accounts he is the best route runner of all the receivers in the draft. He was known for being the Badgers’ top deep threat for three years and was their only weapon on the outside last year. He has great hands and I could easily see him making a ton of plays as a rookie next year.
Jacob Pedersen: A strong prospect with excellent hands. He comes from the great Wisconsin tight end lineage; that has to help his draft ranking. He only got better as his collegiate career unfolded and scouts will undoubtedly see him as a potential playmaker in the pros.
Dezmen Southward: A natural safety with an NFL-ready body, he is an interesting prospect. He anchored the Badgers’ defensive backfield and was a consistent leader for a few years. But did succumb to a few mental errors along the way. He could develop into a real weapon in the NFL though if he is coached to his full potential.
Ryan Groy: A massive player who can carry his weight well. Certainly NFL teams respect any offensive linemen that come from Wisconsin; that should help him. He has the potential to be a ten-year starter for a number of NFL teams. Definitely a solid prospect and a sleeper as best of the bunch.
Beau Allen: He is a true run-stuffer and could be an incredibly valuable backup for a few years in the NFL. Whether or not he can become a starter is another question. But with the size and motor that he possesses, I would not be shocked if he became a solid player at the professional level.
Other Badgers that have a chance at a professional career include; DT Pat Muldoon, LB Ethan Armstrong, DE Ethan Hemer, TE Brian Wozniak and WR Jeff Duckworth.
Good luck in the draft and free agency to all former Badgers!