Ryan Ramczyk’s path to the NFL has been anything but conventional.
An all-state player by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) in high school, he received a scholarship offer from Paul Chryst, who had taken over the Pitt football program. Ramczyk didn’t want to travel that far from home and without any other Division I offers (he enrolled at Winona State but never played), he decided to enter the workforce.
As noted by by ESPN and Sports Illustrated, Ramczyk attended two different technical colleges, looking for a welding degree. Eventually, Ramczyk ended up playing for UW-Stevens Point, a Division-III program, for two years—earning all-conference honors both seasons.
Chryst came back to the Wisconsin Badgers program prior to the 2015 season after Gary Andersen left for Oregon State, and Ramczyk decided to transfer to UW. Ramczyk sat out his transfer year and came back to have a wildly impressive season. Joe Schobert of the Cleveland Browns recently said Ramczyk was the best offensive lineman he faced that year. The list of prominent linemen the All-American and Big Ten Linebacker of the Year faced included the likes of Alabama’s Cam Robinson, USC’s Zach Banner, and Wisconsin’s Tyler Marz.
Ramczyk earned consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selections in his only year of Division I football and should be a Day One starter wherever he is selected.
Dec. 2016: Wisconsin LT Ryan Ramczyk on hip injury, prep for Western Michigan (B5Q/YouTube)
Ryan Ramczyk scouting report
Hand Size: 10 7/8”
Arm Length: 33 3/4”
Bench Press: 25 reps
Ramczyk didn’t work out in Indianapolis or Madison due to surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip that he played through for most of the season. He elected to put off surgery until after the Cotton Bowl.
Strengths: Ramczyk handled some of the best pass rushers in the country last season. He fires off the ball well and keeps good pad level. Looks natural in his kick slide, effectively able to mirror the rusher. He successfully transitions his weight from outside to inside, cutting off inside moves. He’s a mauler in the run game, getting good movement on defensive linemen. Also shows the athleticism in the open field to successfully block linebackers at the second level.
Weaknesses: Despite his success, Ramczyk has only faced top competition for 14 games. Ramczyk sometimes struggles to remain engaged in the run game. His initial punch is good, but he’ll need to become more consistent on remaining engaged throughout the play. He doesn’t always finish the defender. Ramczyk showed that he has a tendency to underset when he has help from a running back on his side, and allow the defender to get too much leverage to the outside.
Summary: Ramczyk will be a Day One starter on the offensive line. I think you make him prove that he can’t play left tackle, but Ramczyk is like a starting right tackle. A team like the Green Bay Packers would likely play him inside at guard, but teams desperate for offensive line talent like the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans could be potential landing spots as well. Ramczyk will have a 10-year career in the NFL and be extremely steady.
Projected Round: First round/top 35
April 2016: Wisconsin football: Ryan Ramczyk breaks down journey to UW (B5Q/YouTube)