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NFL Draft 2018: New Orleans Saints select Wisconsin S Natrell Jamerson in Round 5

The second Badger DB drafted on Saturday

NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints selected Wisconsin Badgers safety Natrell Jamerson with the 27th pick in the fifth round (No. 164 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday.

Jamerson played in 47 career games (16 starts) as a Badger with two position changes in the four years he was in Madison. A wide receiver as a freshman in 2014, he moved to cornerback his sophomore and junior years, then to safety for the 2017 season.

His move to safety allowed him to start all 14 games last year, with the Ocala, Fla., native registering 51 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two interceptions to go along with 10 pass break-ups in an All-Big Ten honorable mention campaign. One of those interceptions turned into a pick-six in the Big Ten opener against Northwestern.

Jamerson also contributed heavily on special teams, showcasing his talents as a gunner on the punt coverage unit. In 2015, he also returned a 98-yard kickoff for a touchdown against Maryland.

After his final game as a Badger—the win over Miami in the Orange Bowl—Jamerson took part in the East-West Shrine Game in January, taking home defensive MVP honors after taking back a 68-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Jamerson participated in both the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and Wisconsin’s pro day. He performed well at both, recording a 4.40-second 40-yard dash and bench pressing 225 pounds 25 times at the combine before running a 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle and 6.87-second three-cone drill inside the McClain Center on March 14. He also recorded a vertical jump of 38 inches.

Jamerson’s versatility should be intriguing for the Saints. Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard believes Jamerson’s best football is ahead of him.

“I heard lot of conversations whether he’s a corner or a safety, a lot of people on both sides of the fence would start him one or the other,” Leonhard said on April 19. “I think as a safety, he has more value at that level because it’s a pass-oriented game. It is physicality, it is coverage ability. From the safety position, it is extremely valuable up there. College football is more of a run game, so a little bit different deal, so I think if he’s playing safety, his best football is ahead.

“Even at corner, he’s really. really new to defense. He played as a sophomore at corner, was hurt most of his junior year, and then moved to safety, so it’s not like he’s ever really been able to just focus, ‘This is who I am, this is how I get better.’ So in my opinion, it’s a no-brainer, the talent that he has. It’s just getting him that experience and figuring out who’s he going to be, what’s his role going to be at that level.”

Jamerson is the third Badger selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, joining former teammates Nick Nelson and Troy Fumagalli. He is the second defensive back drafted from Wisconsin since Dezmen Southward went in the third round of the 2014 draft, with Nelson being drafted in the fourth round on Saturday.

2018 NFL Draft Badgers tracker

Player Position Team Draft Selection/UDFA Draft Pick/Signing Story Scouting Report Interview
Player Position Team Draft Selection/UDFA Draft Pick/Signing Story Scouting Report Interview
Nick Nelson CB Oakland Raiders Round 4, Pick 10 (No. 110 overall) Read Here Read Here
Troy Fumagalli TE Denver Broncos Round 5, Pick 19 (No. 156 overall) Read Here Read Here
Natrell Jamerson S New Orleans Saints Round 5, Pick 27 (No. 164 overall) Read Here Read Here Read Here
Jack Cichy LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers Round 6, Pick 28 (No. 202 overall) Read Here Read Here Read Here
Leon Jacobs LB Jacksonville Jaguars Round 7, Pick 12 (No. 230 overall) Read Here Read Here
Garret Dooley LB Minnesota Vikings UDFA Read Here Read Here
Alec James DL Arizona Cardinals UDFA Read Here Read Here
Austin Ramesh FB Arizona Cardinals UDFA Read Here Read Here Read Here
Conor Sheehy DL Green Bay Packers UDFA Read Here Read Here
Derrick Tindal CB Read Here
Joe Ferguson S Green Bay Packers Tryout Read Here
Lubern Figaro CB Cleveland Browns Tryout Read Here Read Here