Aaron Henry (left) and Antonio Fenelus (right) played large roles in the Badgers making their second-straight Rose Bowl appearance.
Throughout the past couple months there's been plenty of talk about where former Badgers such as Russell Wilson and Peter Konz may end up in the NFL Draft. But other Wisconsin players who played major roles in the Badgers' back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances - including Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus - have flown under the radar of many draft experts.
With just two days remaining until the draft, much uncertainty still surrounds the draft status of both former Wisconsin defensive backs. Henry, a team captain and leader for UW's defense a year ago, has been projected anywhere from the fourth to the fifth round (but some even think he may go undrafted). Fenelus finds himself in a similar scenario as a projected third-day pick who also may not hear his named called this weekend.
Both Henry and Fenelus undoubtedly made their presence felt in UW's secondary a year ago. Henry finished third on the team with 67 tackles for Wisconsin, as Fenelus contributed 51 tackles of his own from the cornerback position. The two also made plenty of plays in the air, equaling the team lead of four interceptions for the season.
Despite their success at Wisconsin, Henry and Fenelus each face an upward battle of finding success in the NFL. Neither player is known for having freakish physical attributes, instead, both are recognized as smart players who know how to play their position well to their strengths.
Come draft day it's nerve-wracking for all prospects entering the draft, but especially for those in Henry and Fenelus' shoes - unsure if they'll be picked at all. It most likely will not help calm the nerves, but ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said last week he believes Henry will be drafted at some point this weekend.
"You know, I think he gets drafted, I really do," McShay said. "I watched some more tape of him recently. I think he's versatile, and when you watch him on tape, he makes some plays, he can come up and support the run, and I just - when you look at his body of work, his experience playing, I think he has - I think he can come in and contribute right away on special teams. To me, can he play the cornerback position and turn and run? You know, there (are) questions with that. He's going to have to be protected."
Nobody, including McShay, knows exactly where these players will end up. But at last, after months of speculation, we will finally discover the fates of draft prospects like Henry and Fenelus.
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