We’re fully into draft szn now that the Super Bowl is done and Clemson has already been national champion for almost a month(!).
The next step in the process is the NFL Scouting Combine held annually in Indianapolis, where NFL scouts and executives will descend to view and evaluate potential players for their teams. This leads into the Pro Day circuit, and eventually into individual workouts before the draft in late April.
It’s always an honor to be invited to the combine, and this year Wisconsin has eight former players invited, an endorsement of the level of talent the NFL feels is at UW.
Four offensive players were invited:
- IOL Beau Benzschawel
- IOL Michael Deiter
- OT David Edwards
- FB Alec Ingold
As were four defensive players:
- LB Ryan Connelly
- S D’Cota Dixon
- LB T.J. Edwards
- LB Andrew Van Ginkel
Offensively, the linemen headline the group. David Edwards will likely be the first drafted. A former quarterback in high school and a tight end in his redshirt season at UW, Edwards’s athleticism is tailor-made for an event like the combine. He’s going to test well and catch the attention of the decision-makers. He could potentially make himself a good bit of money.
Benzschawel and Deiter are the tried and true four-year starters. After competing at the Senior Bowl with Ingold, look for Deiter and Benzschawel to look better physically and weigh in between 305-310 pounds, a bit lighter than they were in college. They’re not going to wow anyone, but they’ll be respectable.
Bucky’s 5th Podcast, Ep. 49: Owen shares observations from Senior Bowl practices, including how Ingold, Deiter, and Benzschawel fared against some of the best competition in the country. Listen to interviews with all three players as well. Subscribe on iTunes and Google Podcasts!
Ingold is the only true fullback at the combine. That is good. It’s an impressive compliment to the Green Bay native and he’ll look to prove he’s worth a draft pick.
Defensively, I was a little surprised that Olive Sagapolu didn’t get an invite, but Van Ginkel was also arguably a bubble-type prospect, so he’ll look to capitalize on that opportunity.
Connelly, in my opinion, should test better than T.J. Edwards, but I anticipate them both being on the lower side of the athletic spectrum in Indy. They’re grinders and football players, not track guys in compression shorts. Van Ginkel might garner himself some attention with his athletic testing and length. With a solid performance, he could work his way into being a draftable prospect. All three linebackers are likely destined for Day 3.
Of the defenders, Dixon probably needs a good day of testing the most. He’s a great box safety and I think he could even work his way into being a Cover Two corner, but he’s got to run under a 4.60 40-yard dash to ensure he’s considered a draftable player in Indy.