Seven Former Wisconsin Badgers Sign With Teams as Undrafted Free Agents

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The minute the NFL Draft ended, teams started scrambling to sign undrafted free agents they had their eye on the as the event winded up. Although Joe Schobert and Derek Watt were drafted in the fourth and sixth round respectively, seven former Wisconsin Badgers were signed to teams Sunday night.

Wide receiver Alex Erickson signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. The former walk on was the go-to receiver for the Badgers the past two seasons, hauling in 77 receptions last year for 978 yards and three touchdowns. He turned plenty of heads after an impressive pro day and will fight for a spot on the roster after the Bengals drafted two wide receivers in the draft this year.

Joining Erickson in Cincinnati is cornerback Darius Hillary. Playing on one of the best defenses in the country last year, Hillary was a stud in the Badgers veteran secondary on the opposite side of the field of Sojourn Shelton. The Bengals did draft William Jackson III in the first round, but Hillary will look to add depth to Cincinnati’s secondary.

Tyler Marz signed on with the Tennessee Titans in an attempt to bolster their offensive line. Marz was a solid anchor for the Badgers, playing 50 games in Wisconsin while starting 40 in a row the past few years. He will be brought in to compete to help protect Mariota and help improve the Titans’ running game which Marz did so well in Madison.

One of the more intriguing players the Badgers have had in recent memory, Tanner McEvoy signed with the Seattle Seahawks. At 6’6” and 228 pounds, McEvoy was looked at by teams as either a receiver or a safety. He has played both sides of the ball but thrived last season in the secondary playing in Dave Aranda’s top defense. It will be interesting to see how Pete Carroll uses McEvoy, but either way he will be well utilized. 

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Safety Michael Caputo did not hear his name called in the draft but did sign on with the New Orleans Saints late Saturday night. Defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine game, Caputo believes a reason he fell out of the draft was due to team’s being scared of his injury history that includes a concussion last season and neck injury his redshirt freshman year. Caputo will get a chance to help improve a bad Saints defense or help out on special teams.

Austin Traylor signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. The former Badgers tight end was initially used as an extra blocker in the run game, but did come on as a decent receiving option last season. Traylor will most likely be used as a blocking tight end or even as a fullback in the run game. The Cowboys did draft project tight end and former Baylor basketball standout Rico Gathers to go along with long-time veteran Jason Witten.

Next: Top Undrafted Badgers in School History

Finally, quarterback Joel Stave signed with the Minnesota Vikings for a chance to learn and develop under offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Stave had one of the craziest roller coaster careers in Wisconsin I can remember, but did finish his career as the winningest quarterback in school history. Stave will have a shot to compete for a spot on the depth chart behind Teddy Bridgewater against Taylor Heinicke and veteran journeyman Shaun Hill.