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Former Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk signs rookie contract with New Orleans Saints

Make that money, Ryan!

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NFL: 2017 NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another former Wisconsin Badgers standout signs on the dotted line.

The New Orleans Saints announced on Thursday the signing of offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk to a four-year contract.

The draft selection of Ramczyk by the Saints in the first round (32nd overall) possibly will pay off earlier than expected, as it was reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on June 16 that projected starting left tackle Terron Armstead suffered a torn labrum. That would sideline Armstead for four to six months and could slot Ramczyk—who himself is recovering from hip surgery—into the position he played at Wisconsin.

According to Nola.com’s Josh Katzenstein, Ramczyk worked in some snaps at first-team left tackle during walkthroughs last Thursday and will train with starting right tackle Zach Strief before New Orleans’s training camp begins.

After a couple of seasons at UW-Stevens Point and sitting out 2015 following his transfer to Wisconsin, Ramczyk earned consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors last season as the Badgers’ starting left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded his run-blocking at 84.6, the best among FBS offensive tackles.

As noted by B5Q back on April 27 when Ramczyk was drafted:

Ramczyk is the 31st former Badger to be drafted in the first round after outside linebacker T.J. Watt was drafted two picks earlier on Thursday at No. 30.

Ramczyk joins an honorable list of former Wisconsin linemen that have been drafted in the first round including Travis Frederick (2013), Kevin Zeitler (2012), Gabe Carimi (2011), Joe Thomas (2007), Chris McIntosh (2000), Aaron Gibson (1999), Paul Gruber (1988), Ray Snell (1980), and Dennis Lick (1976).

Watt and Ramczyk are the fifth combination of Badgers to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft and the first since J.J. Watt and Gabe Carimi in 2011. Other Badgers selected together in the first round include cornerback Jamar Fletcher and running back Michael Bennett (2001), running back Ron Dayne and offensive lineman Chris McIntosh (2000), and wide receiver Al Toon, defensive back Richard Johnson, and defensive lineman Darryl Sims (1985).