Wisconsin Football: 7 Badgers find new homes after the NFL Draft

The Wisconsin football team didn’t see any players drafted in the first two days of the NFL Draft, but there were still a handful of Badgers that found new teams on Sunday afternoon.

Only three players were drafted, which seems pretty low compared to recent years, but multiple players who could have entered the draft decided to stay at Wisconsin another year. Jack Sanborn could have been a Day 2 draft pick. Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor both opted to come back another season. A team could have taken a flyer on either of them on Day 3. So the draft haul for the Wisconsin football team was a little light this year, but seven Badgers still found an NFL team by the end of the weekend.

Isaiahh Loudermilk – Pittsburgh Steelers – Round 4, pick 156

Isaiahh Loudermilk was the first Wisconsin football player taken in the NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up in the draft to take him 156th overall. Initially, Loudermilk was projected to go undrafted but a top option in free agency. The Steelers must have liked what they’ve seen of Loudermilk to not only take him in the 5th round but to also trade future draft capital (a 2022 4th round pick) to get up and get him.

Loudermilk will have a chance to join T.J. and Derek Watt in Pittsburgh and learn from Cameron Heyward, a defensive end for the Steelers who have been playing at a high level for years.

Rachad Wildgoose – Buffalo Bills – Round 6, pick 213

Rachad Wildgoose injured his shoulder two games into the season and then opted out for the rest of the year to get ready for the NFL Draft. Before his injury, he was probably considered CB1 on the Wisconsin football team. Wildgoose was considered a Day 3 pick, and that’s right where he landed. The Buffalo Bills took him in the 6th round, 213th overall. Wildgoose will have to compete for a roster spot this summer, but being a draft pick will definitely help his chances of making the roster.

Cole Van Lanen – Green Bay Packers – Round 6, pick 214

Cole Van Lanen was taken immediately after Wildgoose with pick 214 by the Green Bay Packers. This is a cool pick because Van Lanen is from Green Bay, so he gets to stay home not only in the state of Wisconsin, but he gets to go back to his home city.

The Packers love line depth and versatile linemen. With some question marks at the tackle position, Van Lanen could be in a good spot to compete for a backup tackle position, although it was noted he could also see some time at guard as well.

Mason Stokke  – Carolina Panthers – Undrafted

It’s hard for a fullback to get drafted in today’s NFL. It’s pretty rare for a team to spend draft capital on a fullback when they can snag one as an undrafted free agent immediately after the draft.

The Wisconsin football team has a reputation for being able to produce NFL fullbacks. Derek Watt and Alec Ingold are both considered some of the best in the league. Ingold went undrafted and has had some success in Las Vegas with the Raider. I’m sure the Panthers are hoping to find something similar in Mason Stokke. Should he make the roster, he’ll be clearing the way for one of the top running backs in the league in Christian McCaffery.

Garrett Groshek – Las Vegas Raiders- Undrafted

Garrett Groshek was the top running back for the Wisconsin football team last season. Before last season, he was generally used as a third down back who could pass protect and make some plays in the passing game. He showed last season that he could handle a little more of the first and second down duties.

He signed as an UDFA with the Las Vegas Raiders, who already have a bell cow back in Josh Jacobs. The Raiders also have a decent amount of depth with Kenyan Drake, Jalen Richard, and Theo Riddick all on the roster. Finding a spot on the Raiders could be an uphill battle for Groshek, but he’s never been one to shy away from adversity in the past.

Jon Dietzen – Green Bay Packers – Undrafted

Another offensive lineman from the Wisconsin football team joins the Packers. Dietzen signed with the Packers as an UDFA and will be competing for a spot on the team. The Packers have triple-dipped at offensive line each of the last two drafts, adding a lot of depth to the line, especially the interior line.

Dietzen is probably considered a camp body, he may be able to sneak onto the roster or practice squad if any injuries occur during camp.

Eric Burrell  – New Orleans Saints – Undrafted

Eric Burrell is a player I thought a team might take a chance on in the later rounds. He was in charge of running Jim Leonhard’s defense for multiple years from the safety position. His intelligence is what stands out for many teams.

The Saints are probably going to get a steal out of this signing. He will be able to provide some nice depth for their secondary as well as some skill on special teams. I think he has a great shot to make a roster, whether it is with the Saints or somewhere else in the league.