Best Offensive Player: Graham Mertz
Say what you want about Graham Mertz, but he put together the best season of his UW career in 2022 and, in my opinion, was the team’s best offensive player, not named Braleon Allen.
According to PFF, Mertz finished with the Badgers’ third-highest offensive grade among starters (75.0), trailing only Joe Tippmann and star running back Braelon Allen.
The Kansas native finished the regular season throwing for 2,136 yards and 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions on a career-best 135.0 passer rating. Early in the year, Mertz carried the Badgers’ offense and gave them a semblance of a passing attack.
Mertz did, however, limp his way to the finish line, playing through injuries and terrible weather conditions — ultimately leading to inconsistent performances on the field.
The best offensive player award goes to Mertz for his entire body of work.
Best Defensive Player: Nick Herbig
When Nick Herbig stepped onto campus, everyone knew this kid had a chance to be special — and he showed us why in his final season at UW.
According to PFF, Herbig had the second-highest grade on the Badgers’ defense (87.4) — which is considered elite.
The junior outside linebacker registered 47 tackles, a team-high 34 pressures, 11 sacks (most in B1G), two pass deflections, and two forced fumbles en route to first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American by the AP.
Herbig was the best player on Wisconsin’s defense in 2022, and after announcing his intentions to enter the NFL draft, he’ll go down as one of the most dynamic edge rushers in school history.