In what has become a wildly popular (likely only to me) Bucky’s 5th Quarter NFL Draft tradition, let’s take a look at what a Badger-specific Mock Draft might look like!
Now, while there are likely only 3 draft picks for this crop of former Wisconsin players, there are always a couple that find their way into a rookie camp or a training camp that could lead to a practice squad opportunity.
With that being said, let’s see where some of them end up:
With the 44th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select: Keeanu Benton, Defensive Tackle, University of Wisconsin
Atlanta is slowly building a winner under burgeoning stud General Manager Terry Fontenot, and Keeanu would be a great fit for the Falcons on the interior of their defensive front. While he may not start immediately, he’ll quickly become a heavy part of their rotation, and by year two should be in the starting lineup for the Dirty Birds. He’ll strengthen the run defense by default, and in a couple of years could be competent enough as a pass rusher to not require a substitution on pass rush downs.
With the 65th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select: Joe Tippmann, Center, University of Wisconsin
Houston continues to add talent and strengthen the supporting cast around whoever their quarterback of the future may be. After inking left tackle Laremy Tunsil to a big extension, and drafting Kenyon Green at left guard in the first round last year, Joe Tippmann becomes the final piece to what could quickly become one of the best offensive lines in football, along with newly signed Shaq Mason and Tytus Howard on the right side. Tippmann can run any scheme you want, so he’s an easy choice for the Texans, who have former Badgers’ OL George Panos in their front office.
With the 102nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select: Nick Herbig, Linebacker, University of Wisconsin
With the final pick of Day 2, the talent-laden 49ers take a bit of a luxury selection, taking the ‘tweener pass rusher from the Badgers. Herbig is in the unfortunate position of not being able to play the position that would allow him to do what he’s best at, and that’s be a menace as a pass rusher.
However, Herbig ending up in San Francisco allows him to be used when it’s advantageous, while not forcing him into the lineup too quickly, allowing his development as a true linebacker to take it’s course as opposed to being expedited out of necessity.
Undrafted Free Agents
Tyler Beach - Rookie Camp with the Giants
Jay Shaw - Rookie Camp with the 49ers
John Torchio - Rookie Camp with the Saints
Andy Vujnovich - Rookie Camp with the Packers