It’s that time of the year, guys.
It’s draft szn.
With the Wisconsin regular season completed and the team awaiting its bowl assignment, multiple Badgers have accepted invitations to the most prestigious collegiate all-star games, really the beginning of the process for teams to interview and get to know their potential future employees.
Several Badgers over the past couple of seasons have enjoyed success at these events, leading to them having early success in their NFL careers.
Guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel have accepted their invites to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January.
Congrats @MichaelDeiter and @BeauBench! With the two @OU_Football guards and these two @BadgerFootball guards, the @seniorbowl is going to have a bunch of NFL starting OL in the game. Deiter could be one of the best centers in the league and Benzschawel will be a stud guard. pic.twitter.com/Vdaf8JFOBz— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 1, 2018
Deiter and Benzschawel should both enjoy successful weeks down in Alabama at the most prestigious of the all-star games, a good environment for players to compete against those with similar skills and abilities in front of NFL coaching. The Senior Bowl is also the second-largest gathering of NFL personnel and executives behind the NFL Scouting Combine.
It hasn’t been announced yet, but I’d be shocked if T.J. Edwards doesn’t end up down in Mobile as well. All three players are three-plus-year starters and NFL executives will be looking to get eyes on the experienced Badger products.
Some Badgers who have recently played in the Senior Bowl: Joe Schobert, Vince Biegel, Corey Clement, Garret Dooley, and and Troy Fumagalli.
Two Badger linebackers have already accepted their invites to the East-West Shrine Game held in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ryan Connelly and Andrew Van Ginkel will look to impress NFL personnel, with a potential run at the Senior Bowl as either a “call up” or injury alternate.
Andrew Van Ginkel of University of Wisconsin-Madison has accepted the invitation to play in the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. #shrinegame @AndrewVanGinkel @UWMadison pic.twitter.com/RCKWGeJRjR— Shrine Game (@Shrine_Game) November 26, 2018
Ryan Connelly of University of Wisconsin-Madison has accepted the invitation to play in the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. #shrinegame @UWMadison pic.twitter.com/c1dxgga91B— Shrine Game (@Shrine_Game) November 29, 2018
The Shrine Game is the second-most prestigious of the all-star games, but is just as valuable from an evaluation and interview standpoint for teams, who can get an even more intimate look at the prospects at the less-populated Shrine practices.
Some Badgers who have recently played in the Shrine Game: Joel Stave, Derek Watt, Michael Caputo, Tyler Marz, Alec James, Conor Sheehy, Natrell Jamerson, and Leon Jacobs.
While they haven’t been announced yet, expect safety D’Cota Dixon and fullback Alec Ingold to get invites to one or multiple of the all-star games. Taiwan Deal could also sneak his way into a game as an injury alternate as well.
While this season didn’t end up how either the seniors or fans anticipated, it’s always encouraging to see the players succeed in their post-Badger careers and into the professional ranks.