Wisconsin Football: Alex Erickson’s NFL Draft Profile


NFL Draft Profile: How former Wisconsin football wide receiver Alex Erickson looks heading into the draft

The NFL Draft is fast approaching at the end of April, and former Wisconsin football players are hard at work trying to earn a spot on an NFL team. Among them is wide receiver Alex Erickson, who hopes to continue his career at the next level.

The senior is coming off of a record-setting year, missing out on a 1,000-yard season by just 22 yards. He finished the year with 77 catches for 978 yards and three scores, and finishes his Wisconsin career with 141 receptions for 1,877 yards and six touchdowns.

His 1,877 career yards are 10th-best all-time at UW, and his 141 catches rank sixth-best in school history. Erickson’s 978 yards this season ranked as the sixth-best single season total in school history, while his 77 catches trail only Jared Abbrederis (78 catches in 2013) for the best season in UW history.

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Those numbers put Erickson among the likes of Abbrederis, Lee Evans, Brandon Williams, Travis Beckum, Chris Chambers and Nick and Al Toon as some of the best receivers to take the field at Wisconsin.

Maybe more impressive for Erickson is that the vast majority of his career work (all but nine catches) came in the last two seasons, as he broke out as a junior and kept rolling as a senior, emerging as Wisconsin’s clear cut No. 1 receiver and go-to guy.

He finished out his senior season as a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and a second-team selection by the coaches.

Now Erickson is the latest (along with his teammate Joe Schobert) in a long line of walk-on players at Wisconsin looking at a career in the NFL.

Here’s how scouts see the former Badgers wide receiver:

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers


  • Height: 6-feet
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 34.5 inches
  • Broad jump: 9-feet, 8-inches
  • 20-yard shuttle: 3.88 seconds
  • Three-cone drill: 6.65 seconds
  • 60-yard shuttle: 10.94 seconds
  • Bench press: 14 reps (225 pounds)

(drills run at UW’s Pro Day)

Strengths: Production, route running, quickness, special teams value

Erickson is a classic case of playing faster than he looks.

He has deceptive speed and is quick in his routes, allowing him to get open across the middle of the field. Once he has the ball, he does a decent job after the catch adding extra yards.

Erickson really excelled in the middle of the field, and looks to be a solid option at slot receiver at the next level.

His career totals speak for themselves: when Wisconsin needed someone to go to, Erickson was there time and time again. In a traditionally strong running program at Wisconsin, Erickson logged more than 1,700 receiving yards in a two-year span.

He also spent time as Wisconsin’s punt returner and even fielded a couple of kicks last season, adding to his versatility.

Weaknesses: Separation speed, lack of red zone production

Erickson had great numbers at Wisconsin’s pro day in all of the speed and quickness drills, but his speed doesn’t seem to translate as a deep threat.

He can create separation across the middle, but that seems to be the extent of his breakaway abilities.

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Erickson also failed to get into the end zone a lot as a Badger. That may be due to Wisconsin’s run-first scheme and tight end-friendly passing game, but Erickson wasn’t Wisconsin’s go-to guy inside the 20-yard line.

He scored just six touchdowns in his career despite recording nearly 150 career catches. That shows you the majority of his work took place in the middle of the field.

Last Impression:

Erickson was a key piece for the Badgers in their final game of the season, a 23-21 win over USC in the Holiday Bowl.

The senior receiver caught more passes than anyone else on the field – including USC stud JuJu Smith-Schuster – totaling five grabs for 54 yards, with a long of 19 yards.

Erickson proved his sure-handedness in a big game for the Badgers.

Final Thought:

Erickson should be on an NFL team come summer, whether by the draft or free agency.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted one NFL scout who loved his production at Wisconsin:

"“He’s a sleeper in this thing, man. Clutch receiver. Love this kid. I would take him fourth, fifth round.”"

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He might not be a breakaway deep threat and he didn’t score a lot of touchdowns in his career, but man did he catch the ball a ton. In a more wide receiver-friendly scheme, Erickson may have been an even bigger part of the offense.

Erickson certainly isn’t getting much hype, but Badgers fans know how good of a receiver he is. He will make an NFL team better.