After a long off-season it’s finally opening night for the 2022 NFL season, let’s take a look at what we can expect from former Badgers in the league this year.
- Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): Wilson will begin his first season with the Broncos on Sunday, after ten stellar seasons in Seattle that included a Super Bowl win. Just last week the veteran signed a massive new contract with the Broncos that ensures he will be Denver’s franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Breaking: Broncos and Russell Wilson just reached agreement on a five-year, $245 million contract extension that includes $165 million guaranteed, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2022
Deal now ties Wilson to Denver for seven total years and $296 million. Another massive QB deal in the books. pic.twitter.com/uk6yelOL3j
- Jonathan Taylor, RB (Colts): After being named a first team All-Pro and leading the league in rushing last season, Taylor solidified himself as one of the best skill position players in all of football. He should have another monster season behind a solid Colts offensive line, and veteran quarterback Matt Ryan is a clear upgrade over Carson Wentz and could make JT a threat as pass catcher too.
- Melvin Gordon, RB (Broncos): Gordon is back for his eighth season in the league, his third in Denver, where he will share carries with second-year player Javonte Williams. Williams is clearly the Broncos’ future at the running back position and should get more touches, but Gordon will still see his fair share of carries and continue to be used around the goal line.
- Dare Ogunbowale, RB (Texans): After two seasons in Jacksonville as an important special teams contributor and pass-catching back, Ogunbowale earned himself a two-year deal from the Texans this offseason. The former walk-on currently sits third on Houston’s depth chart but should expect to play significant special teams snaps.
- Derek Watt, FB (Steelers): Watt returns to Pittsburgh for a third season, where he will be a key special teams player and serve as the Steelers’ starting fullback.
- Alec Ingold, FB (Dolphins): Ingold enters his first season with the Dolphins and will be the starting fullback in first-year head coach Mike McDaniel’s new offense.
... Also, Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold said stomach flu - not last year's Week 10 ACL - was reason he didn't play in Eagles game. He expects to play in opener and he's a key part of this new-look running game.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 31, 2022
- Troy Fumagalli, TE (49ers): The five-year veteran did not make the Niners’ 53-man roster, but was re-signed to their practice squad on Wednesday.
- Quintez Cephus, WR (Lions): Cephus only played in five games last year, as a shoulder injury cut his season short. However, the third-year pro is back healthy for the 2022 season and will serve as the Lions fourth option at wide receiver.
- Alex Erickson, WR (Commanders): The seven-year veteran did not make the Commander's final roster, but was re-signed to their practice squad for the season.
- Ryan Ramczyk, OT (Saints): The former All-Pro enters his sixth year in New Orleans and was named a team captain this season for the first time in his career.
- Rob Havenstein, OT (Rams): Havenstein will once again be the Rams’ starting right tackle to begin the season and just inked a new extension to stay in Los Angeles for another three years.
The #Rams and OT Rob Havenstein have agreed to terms on a 3-year, $34.5M contract extension that includes $24.1M guaranteed, source said. The deal for the first-time captain includes another $6M in incentives. Havenstein becomes the 6th highest paid RT in the NFL at age 30.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2022
- Kevin Zeitler, OG (Ravens): The eleven-year veteran will serve as the Ravens’ starting right guard for 2022, after starting 16 games in that spot last season.
- David Edwards, OG (Rams): Edwards enters his fourth season in the league, where he is slated to be the Rams’ starting left guard this season.
- Cole Van Lanen OG (Jaguars): The former sixth-round pick was traded from the Packers to the Jaguars in late August. Van Lanen made Jacksonville’s 53-man roster and will be a backup guard for them to start the season.
“We liked him when he came out of the University of Wisconsin.”— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 30, 2022
GM Trent Baalke on Cole Van Lanen. pic.twitter.com/EzdEgQ3dzX
- Michael Deiter, C (Dolphins): Deiter will begin the season as the Dolphins’ backup center but should also see a handful of special teams snaps.
- Tyler Biadasz, C (Cowboys): Biadasz started all 17 games for the Cowboys a season ago and returns as the starting center for 2022.
- J.J. Watt, DE (Cardinals): The 3x Defensive Player of the Year is back again for his twelfth season in the league and will start at defensive end for the Cardinals this year.
- Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE (Steelers): Loudermilk played in 15 games for the Steelers as a rookie last season, and should once again see snaps up front in 2022.
- T.J. Watt, LB (Steelers): The defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year, enters his sixth season with the Steelers where he’ll look to add to his already impressive trophy case this year.
- Andrew Van Ginkel, LB (Dolphins): Coming off a breakthrough season that saw Van Ginkel start 14 games and tally 71 total tackles, the four-year veteran should once again be a key part of Miami’s defense this year.
- T.J. Edwards, LB (Eagles): After notching a career-high 130 total tackles last season, Edwards will be the Eagles starting inside linebacker heading into Week 1.
T.J. Edwards confirms he’ll wear the green dot on his helmet this year, meaning he’ll get the calls from Jonathan Gannon in-game.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) September 1, 2022
- Zack Baun, LB (Saints): Baun begins his third year in the league as the Saints’ backup strongside linebacker but he’ll likely see snaps on special teams as well.
- Rachad Wildgoose CB (Commanders): Wildgoose was cut by the Jets but was claimed by the Commanders off waivers.
- Jake Ferguson, TE (Cowboys): The fourth-round pick had an impressive preseason and will serve as the Cowboys’ backup tight end this year.
You gotta love the fight and grit Jake Ferguson brings from a blocking standpoint.— Skywalker Steele (@SkywalkerSteele) September 7, 2022
Growing up in BIG 10 country and being a former linebacker he's not scared of the smoke. pic.twitter.com/w8b61JAb8s
- Kendric Pryor, WR (Jaguars): Pryor had a great preseason for the Bengals but was released during final roster cuts. Fortunately, the Jaguars had an interest in the undrafted rookie and claimed him off waivers.
- Matt Henningsen, DE (Broncos): The sixth-round pick was on the final roster bubble during training camp, but Henningsen earned a spot on Denver’s 53-man roster and is listed as the third-string nose tackle.
- Leo Chenal, LB (Chiefs): Chenal was drafted in the third round by the Chiefs and is listed as one of their starting linebackers heading into Week 1.
- Jack Sanborn, LB (Bears): After going undrafted in April, Sanborn earned a spot on the Bears’ 53-man roster during fall camp and is listed as the backup at inside linebacker.
- Faion Hicks, CB (Broncos): The seventh-round pick failed to make the 53-man roster, but was re-signed to Denver’s practice squad.
- Scott Nelson, S (Seahawks): Nelson did not make the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, but he was re-signed to their practice squad.