Wisconsin Football: Where are they now? Badgers in the NFL in ’21

May 27, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball during Indianapolis Colts OTAs. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball during Indianapolis Colts OTAs. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Wisconsin football team has been getting a lot of players into the NFL in the past 25+ years. Now, entering the 2021 season, there are 37 former Wisconsin football players on an NFL training camp roster according to Ourlads.com.

I think it’s fair to say most of the 37 players are going to make their respective rosters and that’s a credit to the football program at Wisconsin. They are pumping some quality talent into the NFL, including some of the top players at their respective positions like Russell Wilson, Ryan Ramczyk, and T.J. and J.J. Watt.

Let’s take a quick look at which NFL teams have some Badgers on the roster heading into 2021 training camps.

Arizona Cardinals

J.J. Wattsigned with the Cardinals this offseason after being released by the Texans. Watt is certainly a lock to make the team this year as the Cardinals make a run at the NFC West division title.

Atlanta Falcons

Olive Sagapolu – the former defensive lineman who can do backflips in the sand is trying to catch on in Atlanta after signing with the Falcons in May. He’s made various stops around the league in places like Green Bay and Detroit.

Baltimore Ravens

Kevin Zeitler – Zeitler, widely regarded as one of the better offensive guards in the NFL, is in his first year with the Ravens. He was a cap casualty of the New York Giants in the offseason and signed a 3-year, $22 million deal with the Ravens this offseason and is expected to be a starter for Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills

Rachad Wildgoose – the top cornerback for the Wisconsin football team last year that played in just three games before suffering an injury. He was drafted in the 6th round by the Bills and is expected to compete for a backup cornerback spot. I wouldn’t say he is a lock on the roster but should have a good chance to make the team.

Carolina Panthers

Mason Stokke – the Badger’s fullback last season, caught on with Carolina as an undrafted free agent (UDFA). He will compete with Mikey Daniel for the fullback position and the right to be the lead blocker for Christian McCaffrey.

Dallas Cowboys

Tyler Biadasz – entering his second season with Dallas, started last year as a backup but was forced into action after the starter, Joe Looney, was injured. It sounds like he is in a position battle with Connor Williams for the center position, but should be a lock to make the roster in 2021.

Denver Broncos

Melvin Gordon – one of the most prolific Wisconsin running backs is entering his second season with the Denver Broncos. He is the incumbent for the top running back spot, but the Broncos did draft Javonte Williams in the 2nd round of the draft this year. While it’s very likely Gordon makes the roster, it looks like he’ll be sharing carries in 2021 again.

Detroit Lions

Quintez Cephus – the second-year player showed some promise for the Lions last year. With Kenny Galloday and Marvin Jones Jr. departing in free agency, Cephus will have a shot to earn some more playing time this year.

Green Bay Packers

Cole Van Lanen – drafted by the Packers in the 6th round of the draft, Van Lanen will have a shot to compete for a backup role on a deep Packers roster. He will likely be a guard in the NFL but his college experience at tackle will make him more valuable. CVL could be a practice squad candidate if he does not make the 53-man roster.

Jon Dietzen – joined Green Bay as an UDFA. Could be tough to see him land on an active roster. Could be a practice squad candidate for the Packers if he does well in camp.

Houston Texans

Alex Erickson – the kick/punt return ace signed with the Texans this offseason after five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He will likely make the roster because of his kick return ability.

Indianapolis Colts

Nick Nelson – the former Wisconsin football cornerback was drafted by the Raiders but never really made an impact. Signed with the Colts this offseason to compete for a job in their secondary.

Jonathan Taylor – had a great rookie year, despite sharing carries. He is expected to be RB1 for the Colts but will still have to share carries with Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack in 2021.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Leon Jacobs – a 7th round pick for the Jags in 2018, Jacobs has been able to see some playing time on defense the past few years. Jacobs starts the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list but is expected to make the roster again in 2021.

Dare Ogunbowale – Ogunbowale has bounced around the league a bit the past few years. Is looking to catch on with the Jags as a 3rd down back and a special teams difference-maker.

Joe Schobert – signed with the Jaguars last season on a deal that currently makes him the 5th-highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL. Schobert is a lock to make the roster for Jacksonville.

Los Angeles Rams

David Edwards – drafted by the Rams in 2019, is a virtual lock to make the roster. One of the Rams’ top interior offensive linemen.

Rob Havenstein – one of the top right tackles in the NFL. He is a lock to make the Rams roster in 2021.

Las Vegas Raiders

Garrett Groshek – caught on with the Raiders as an UDFA. He will compete for a backup spot with the Raiders.

Alec Ingold – the Raider’s top FB last season and lead blocker for Josh Jacobs, one of the top young backs in the league. Ingold is a virtual lock to make the team.

Miami Dolphins

Vince Biegel – missed last season with an injury. Is surely going to be competing for a spot on the Dolphin’s roster in 2021.

Michael Dieter – a starter at guard for the Dolphins last season. Is going to make the team in 2021.

Tyler Marz – just signed with the Dolphins at the start of camp. Will likely be a camp body and will have to show a lot to make the roster.

Andrew Van Ginkel – one of the Dolphin’s top pass rushers last season. Will be competing for a starting spot this season, but probably a safe bet to make the team this year.

Minnesota Vikings

Ryan Connelly – with a loaded linebacker position in Minnesota, Connelly could be facing an uphill battle to make the Vikings’ roster. Could land on the practice squad or catch on somewhere else to start the regular season.

New England Patriots

Troy Fumagalli – the Patriots love their two tight end sets, but they have some solid depth at the position as well. Fumagalli will be in competition for the 3rd string tight end position in camp.

James White – a steady player for the Patriots and their passing game, White is surely a lock to make the team and could enter the season as a top-2 option at the position.

New Orleans Saints

Zack Baun – drafted by the Saints last year in the 3rd round. He is being moved to an inside linebacker position by the Saints this year. If they are doing that I’d say he’s got a pretty good shot at making the roster this year.

Eric Burrell – caught on with the Saints as an UDFA. Burrell is going to have to battle to make the Saints’ 53-man roster but could have a shot due to their lack of depth at the position.

Ryan Ramczyk – recently became the top-paid right tackle in the NFL. The 3x All-Pro is a lock to make the roster.

New York Giants

Corey Clement – spent the first part of his career with the Eagles, earning a Super Bowl ring in 2017. He signed with the Giants this offseason and will compete with a crowded group to be Saquon Barkey’s backup.

Philadelphia Eagles

T.J. Edwards – an UDFA a few years ago that probably should have been drafted. The Eagles have gotten a lot from Edwards in the past couple of years and he is projected to be the starting middle linebacker for the Eagles in 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Isaiahh Loudermilk – drafted by Pittsburgh in the 5th round this year. He will provide the Steelers with some depth at the defensive line this year with a chance to grow into a more meaningful role in the future.

T.J. Watt – one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. Many believe he should have won NFL Defensive Player of the Year last year. Definite lock to make the roster.

Derek Watt – joined his brother in Pittsburgh last year and will likely stay with the Steelers if they continue to employ a fullback on the roster.

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson – Wilson made headlines this offseason when rumors swirled that he wanted out. For now, Wilson is going to stay in Seattle and is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Washington Football Team

Beau Benzschawel – waived by Houston this spring and claimed by Washington, Benzschawel will have a chance to compete for a spot on the Football Team as some depth for the offensive line. Could be a practice squad guy if he doesn’t make the team.