With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Badger of Honor takes a look back at the Top 5 Wisconsin Badgers drafted in the past decade.
This is about production at the highest level, and the Badgers drafted over the past 10 years have certainly produced. Wisconsin has produced Super Bowl champions, big-time award winners, multiple Pro Bowlers and long-term starters.
Since 2005, 42 Badgers have entered the NFL as a draft pick, six of them as first rounders. And while not all of the draft picks have panned out, the Badgers have a solid showing in the NFL right now.
Let’s continue our examination of the top draft picks of the past decade, continuing with No. 5, tight end Owen Daniels.
Daniels entered the NFL as the first pick of the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, No. 98 overall to the Houston Texans.
He would spend the next eight years as a Texan, playing in 100 games for Houston. He spent the 2014 season with the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year contract, and this off season signed a three-year, $12 million contract to play for the Denver Broncos.
In his nine-year career, Daniels has battled injuries, but has seen action in total of 115 games. He has 433 career receptions for 5,144 yards (11.9 yards per catch) and 33 touchdowns.
Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (81) reacts against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Texans defeated the Chargers 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In his rookie season, Daniels earned a spot on the NFL All-Rookie team after compiling 34 receptions for 352 yards and 5 touchdowns.
He has two Pro Bowl selections under his belt. In 2008 he caught 70 passes for 862 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and in 2012 he grabbed 62 passes for 716 yards and 6 scores.
Heading into 2015, Daniels will likely assume the starting role in the wake of Julius Thomas heading off to Jacksonville in free agency.
Catching passes from Peyton Manning will only further the success of an already successful NFL career for Daniels.
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue to count down the Top 5 Wisconsin Badgers draft picks of the past decade.