Make that three Wisconsin Badgers outside linebackers drafted in the past two years.
The 6’3, 246-pound edge rusher is the third UW player to be selected this year, behind outside linebacker T.J. Watt and offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk—both of whom were picked in the first round 30th and 32nd overall, respectively, on Thursday.
In the past two seasons, a trio of Wisconsin outside linebackers, Joe Schobert, Watt and now Biegel have been drafted. Like Schobert last year, Biegel was the first pick of the fourth round.
“Wisconsin I can’t wait to stay home!!!!” Biegel said on Twitter after the selection on Saturday.
Biegel finished his Wisconsin career tied for the school record in games played (54), seventh all-time in sacks (21.5) and tenth in tackles for loss (39.5). Along with earning multiple All-Big Ten honors from 2014-16—ranging from second- to third-team selections—he graduated with a degree in Life Science Communications in December 2016 and was also a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Named a team captain prior to the start of the 2016 season, following in the footsteps of Schobert a year before him with that accolade, Biegel guided a Wisconsin defense that finished in the Top 10 in the nation of several major categories, despite missing two games due to a foot injury. Those include ranking third in rushing defense (98.8 yards per game allowed), fourth in scoring defense (15.6 points per game allowed), seventh in total defense (301.4 yards per game allowed) and tenth in team passing efficiency defense (106.91).
Biegel trained at EXOS in San Diego, a sports performance company with facilities across the nation, and earned invitations to the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine. During Wisconsin’s Pro Day, he worked out on position drills specifically with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Joey Porter and New York Jets’ Kevin Greene—both former standout linebackers in their time playing professionally.
“Both have a ton of great football experience and they’re very knowledgeable in the game,” Biegel told B5Q on Monday. “I was able to pick their brains and kind of talk with them, and I think one thing that resonates with both of those guys, Joey and Kevin, was that they love the game of football, and that’s the type of players that they like to have on their team—and I think that’s why it’s a big reason why they’re at Wisconsin’s pro day.
“Wisconsin guys love to play the game. We’re smart tough, dependable guys. We don’t have a lot of baggage off the field, we know what we’re doing, and we’ll be dependable, and those are the types of players you want on your team.”
After a standout career at and graduating from Wisconsin, along with a wedding in July that he’s currently planning, Biegel’s looking forward to a “new beginning” in the NFL.
That opportunity will now include working to find a place in the outside linebacker rotation with the likes of Clay Matthews, newly re-signed Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme.
“What I mean by that, there’s something to be said about a new beginning,” Biegel said on Monday. “It’s something fresh—new faces, new coaches, kind of different techniques, kind of different practices. Obviously you’re living in a whole new environment, situation. I’m excited for that.
“I’ve grown a lot as a man and a person since I came to college here at Wisconsin. I met my fiancee here, but I’m also excited to continue growing and kind of spreading my wings wherever that may be. Whether it’s in Wisconsin, Green Bay, or the 31 other NFL teams out there across the country. So I’m excited about that journey. I have phenomenal support and it’s going to be a great experience. I’m extremely excited, I’m extremely blessed, and I can’t wait for that journey—not just to grow as a football player but also to grow as a person and as a man as well.”