NFL Draft 2014: So You Drafted a Badger, Ryan Groy Edition

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A Wisconsin offensive lineman comes with name recognition -- can Ryan Groy add to the tradition?

If you're a high school offensive lineman, an offer from Wisconsin is highly intriguing. In the past decade, the Badgers have sent linemen to the pros on a regular basis and they've been able to get linemen drafted above their scouting grade. Even Travis Frederick was surprised last year by the Dallas Cowboys drafting him in the first round.

It's on this reason alone that Ryan Groy not being drafted would be a surprise. Sure, his "stock" has taken a tumble. But Groy's going to get a phone call. He will be in somebody's camp next year. As such, let's see what a team would get.

On the surface, Groy is a versatile and experienced lineman (54 games with time spent at multiple positions) with a natural strength to his game. He has some good quickness, and when there was a guard that pulled, it was usually Groy. He also has a strong first step, and generally locks in and gets into the defensive tackle with his initial punch.

He also had a pretty solid combine, finishing in the top 10 in both tests that measure lateral agility (40-yard dash and shuttle) and didn't otherwise embarrass himself, finishing around the top 15 in all other contests, with a top-10 performance in the broad jump.

But there's a reason Groy's grading out as a fringe prospect. He's inconsistent technique-wise. If he doesn't engage a defender with the first step, he can get beat. When you're a lineman who engages a defender with the upper body open, you're not going to have a good time.

This doesn't mean scouts both would-be and otherwise are looking at him a round or two too late, though. Groy also had the unfortunate circumstance of his worst game being the one pure, nationally televised game of college football the Badgers had last year. The Sun Devils' Will Sutton looks to be a prospect that will be picked sometime next Friday, and he was able to use his natural quickness to keep Groy from getting much of a push.

This means less, because while the Badgers had to spend all of the Capital One Bowl trying everything in their power to make sure Jadeveon Clowney didn't do what he did in the fourth quarter, the defensive tackle prospect for South Carolina that emerged that season (Kelcy Quarles) was forced to take Groy on in a lot of one-on-one situations. And the fact remains, Groy handled Quarles quite nicely.

But all in all, I suppose that goes back to that whole inconsistency bugaboo. Quarles and Sutton are looking to have similar draft positions, and they were the nadir and apogee of Groy's season. The team that drafts Groy is going to need to give him some time to see if there is further development. That being said, the team that drafts Groy is getting someone who could potentially help out at any of four positions along the offensive line, as well as someone who showed an aptitude for long-snapping while he spent time at the East-West Shrine Game.

Groy may be waiting for a while to hear his name called, but that doesn't mean he's not going to stick on the roster that drafts him.

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