The 2019 NFL Draft has concluded, and four Wisconsin football players heard their names called.
Although they aren’t a powerhouse like Alabama or Ohio State, Wisconsin football has been very successful in getting players from their program drafted into the NFL. This year was no different.
No, they didn’t have any blue-chip players in this year’s draft that went in the first or second round. But that’s what you expect from your typical Wisconsin player. They are two and three-star prospects who come in and work hard for success. The Badgers have an excellent track record of developing walk-ons into potential NFL players.
This year, the Badgers had four former players selected in the draft and some who weren’t drafted signed undrafted deals with teams around the league.
Miami Dolphins – Round 3 – Pick 78
Deiter was the first Wisconsin football player taken off the board. The Miami Dolphins needed line help, allowing 52 sacks last season, tied for the fifth most in the league. Deiter will have a chance to compete for a starting spot this season.
Although he played all over the line at Wisconsin, playing center, guard and tackle, he will likely play on the inside of the line. His versatility and experience playing all over the line could also allow him to play tackle in a pinch.
Miami is in the middle of a rebuild, and the line is a big part of that rebuild. Deiter will likely be a key part of their future plans on the offensive line. Deiter’s job will be to protect their newly acquired franchise quarterback, Josh Rosen.
New York Giants – Round 5 – Pick 143
Connelly is one of those Badgers who was a high school quarterback, walked onto the team and made a name for himself, becoming a Butkus Award semifinalist in 2018.
Connelly will give the Giants some linebacker depth and will likely find playing time on the field on special teams.
Andrew Van Ginkel
Miami Dolphins – Round 5 – Pick 151
Andrew Van Ginkel will join Deiter in Miami. Van Ginkel’s value is rushing the passer. His position is a premium in today’s NFL. Like Connelly, he will make his impact on special teams. If he adds on some weight, he could make a difference for the Dolphins by rushing the passer as we have all seen in Madison.
Los Angeles Rams – Round 5 – Pick 169
Edwards is a player who some thought could have been a first or second round pick before his 2018 season. A shoulder injury derailed his season and likely caused his stock in the draft to slip.
If he can recover from his injury and live up to that potential, the Rams could have quite a steal on their hands. Joining Rob Havenstein, the Rams have dipped into O-line U once again to fortify their offensive line. At the very least, Edwards should give the Rams some solid depth at tackle, something teams can never have enough of.
The Badgers had a few surprising players go undrafted, but most have already found homes.
- FB Alec Ingold – Oakland Raiders
- OL Beau Benzschawel – Detroit Lions
- S D’Cota Dixon – San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles (Rookie minicamp invites, has not yet accepted)
- LB T.J. Edwards – Philadelphia Eagles
- RB Chris James – Chicago Bears (Rookie minicamp invite)
With the undrafted players, there will be nine Badgers on a roster going into training camp. I’d say Wisconsin football will be well represented once again in this year’s rookie class.