Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 15, 2018


Wisconsin is a factory for offensive linemen. And the NFL draft is proof.

The Badgers have had 10 offensive linemen selected over the last 10 years, more than any other position on the roster. Wisconsin also has done well churning out linebackers, with six getting picked since 2008. Running back is another position that has renown in Madison, with four being picked over the last 10 drafts. But it?s defensive players who lead the way among Wisconsin?s top 2018 NFL draft prospects, with four of the program?s top five projected draftees being on that side of the ball.

The first Badgers off the board figure to be CB Nick Nelson and TE Troy Fumagalli, who project as fourth-fifth round selections. LB Jack Cichy should be a fifth- or sixth-rounder. LB Leon Jacobs and DE Alec James project as seventh-rounders or free agents.

Here is how Wisconsin has fared in the last 10 NFL drafts. Amazingly, the Badgers have had a player picked at every position since 2008.


Highest pick: No. 11 DE J.J. Watt, 2011/Texans

Most fertile draft: 2012, six selections

Total first-round picks: 7

Total picks: 36

Position breakdown:

  • Offensive line: 10
  • Linebacker: 6
  • Defensive line: 4
  • Running back: 4
  • Receiver: 3
  • Tight end: 3
  • Defensive back: 2
  • Fullback: 2
  • Quarterback: 1.
  • Kicker: 1
  • Punter: 1


  • Fourth round: CB Jack Ikegwuonu, Eagles
  • Sixth round: K Taylor Mehlhaff, Saints
  • Sixth round: DT Nick Hayden, Panthers
  • Sixth round: WR Paul Hubbard, Browns


  • Third round: DE Matt Shaughnessy, Raiders
  • Third round: LB DeAndre Levy, Lions
  • Third round: OT Kraig Urbik, Steelers
  • Third round: TE Travis Beckum, Giants


  • Fourth round: TE Garrett Graham, Texans
  • Fourth round: LB O?Brien Schofield, Cardinals


  • First round: DE J.J. Watt, Texans
  • First round: OT Gabe Carimi, Bears
  • Second round: TE Lance Kendricks, Rams
  • Third round: G John Moffitt, Seahawks
  • Seventh round: C Bill Nagy, Cowboys


  • First round: G Kevin Zeitler, Bengals
  • Second round: G Peter Konz, Falcons
  • Third round: QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks
  • Fourth round: WR Nick Toon, Saints
  • Fifth round: FB Bradie Ewing, Falcons
  • Sixth round: P Brad Nortman, Panthers


  • First round: C Travis Frederick Cowboys
  • Second round: RB Montee Ball, Broncos
  • Fifth round: OT Ricky Wagner, Ravens


  • Third round: FS Dezmen Southward, Falcons
  • Third round: LB Chris Borland, 49ers
  • Fourth round: RB James White, Patriots
  • Fifth round: WR Jared Abbrederis, Packers
  • Seventh round: DT Beau Allen, Eagles


  • First round: RB Melvin Gordon, Chargers
  • Second round: OT Rob Havenstein, Rams


  • Fourth round: LB Joe Schobert, Browns
  • Sixth round: FB Derek Watt, Chargers


  • First round: LB T.J. Watt, Steelers
  • First round: OT Ryan Ramczyk, Saints
  • Fourth round: LB Vince Biegel, Packers