All in all, it was an exciting weekend for all Wisconsin Badgers draft-eligible football players. Three were drafted, all received at least a tryout and a couple are playing near their childhood home.
Wisconsin 🏈➡️ NFL@_TJWatt @RyanRamczyk1 @VinceBiegel @CoreyClement_6 @BartHouston_13 @DGO23_ @_SDS8 @Rob_wheels#OnWisconsin || #Badgers pic.twitter.com/ze9PiVjwmv
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) May 1, 2017
OVERALL WEEKEND REVIEW:
First thing’s first, the three Badgers drafted were T.J. Watt, Ryan Ramczyk and Vince Biegel. Watt and Ramczyk went in the first round, with Watt going No. 30 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ramczyk No. 32 to the New Orleans Saints. Biegel went in the fourth round to the Green Bay Packers at No. 108.
There was also quite a bit of action after the draft for the former Badgers. Corey Clement (Philadelphia Eagles), Sojourn Shelton (Arizona Cardinals), Dare Ogunbowale (Houston Texans) and Rob Wheelwright (New York Giants) all signed with teams as undrafted free agents, and Bart Houston was invited to tryout for the Oakland Raiders.
STAYING CLOSE TO HOME:
Although Biegel, a Wisconsin Rapids native, is the obvious pick in terms of Badgers staying close to home, he isn’t the only one. In fact, Biegel isn’t the player playing closest to his hometown. Clement is from Glassboro, NJ which is around 30 minutes from Philadelphia. Even more surprising, Biegel isn’t second either. Houston is from Dublin, Calif which is 34 minutes from the O.co Coliseum, the Raiders home for the next two seasons.
WHO’S GOING TO HAVE THE BEST YEAR ONE:
Of the drafted players, Biegel will have the best rookie season. Although three rounds apart, the gap between Biegel and Watt is nearly that big. It seems that Watt was made better by Biegel and vice-versa, so they’re much closer in skill level than their draft positions would suggest. People, also, forget that a couple of seasons ago Watt was relatively unknown even considering his name, and Ramczyk also picked three rounds ahead of Biegel, was at UW-Stevens Point, while Biegel was already a star for the Cardinal and White.
HOW THE EXPERTS DID:
Last week, I wrote a draft-weekend preview where I highlighted the predictions of three draft experts representing three reputable outlets in Fox Sports, CBS Sports and USA Today. All three, Peter Schrager (Fox Sports), Luke Easterling (Draft Wire/ USA Today) and R.J. White (CBS Sports), had four total Badgers going in the draft. Unfortunately, they were all incorrect by one. Saying that all three had the combo of Watt-Ramczyk-Biegel going at some point and Schrager and Easterling had Watt/Ramczyk going in the same round. But, in the end, Schrager got it closest, predicting the two would go in the first round (Ramczyk at 20 and Watt at 29).
UNDRAFTED PLAYER I AM MOST EXCITED TO SEE:
The most interesting case of the bunch is Sojourn Shelton. He has a lot of talent. He has great ball skills and is reliable in coverage, but the biggest problem is his size. He was listed by the Badgers last season at 5’9”/ 168 pounds. If he can get bigger and handle the much more physical NFL, he has the talent to succeed.