The Wisconsin Badgers have had a player drafted in 39 straight NFL drafts, which means there are a lot of former players to keep up with. Here is your updated list of former Badgers in the NFL.
Updated September 12, 2017.
Travis Frederick: Dallas Cowboys, OL
If you have heard how good the Dallas offensive line is, one of the main reasons they are so successful is because of Travis Frederick at the center of it all. While the Cowboys certainly have other talented offensive linemen, Frederick is one of the best centers in the NFL. In four seasons, he has been named to three Pro Bowls, and three All-Pro First Team’s. He has never missed a game in four seasons. While Frederick is still fairly young, he projects to be a phenomenal center for many more years for America’s team.
Joe Thomas: Cleveland Browns, OL
Joe Thomas has been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL since he entered the league. In 2007, he started on top as the No. 3 overall draft pick. From there, his career absolutely took off. He has never missed the Pro Bowl in his career, the only offensive lineman in NFL history to be selected to nine straight Pro Bowls. In fact, he has never even missed a snap. In addition, Thomas has made the NFL All-Pro First or Second Team every season for the last eight years. Simply put, Joe Thomas is an absolute iron man.
J.J. Watt: Houston Texans, DE
J.J. Watt currently sits at the top. Watt is a monster on the field, and his popularity off the field is growing every day, especially with his fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief. Watt missed most of the 2016 season due to injury, but is looking to get back to the top of the NFL as the best defensive (and perhaps overall) player. Here is just a short list of J.J.’s accomplishments:
- 4x NFL Pro Bowler
- 4x First Team All-Pro
- 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- 2x NFL Sacks Leader
- The only player in NFL history with two seasons of 20+ sacks
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks, QB
Even though he only played one season for the Wisconsin Badgers, Russell Wilson is an icon in Madison, and among NFL fans all around the country. In his first five seasons, Wilson has progressed from a game-manager to one of the league’s elite quarterbacks, as well as winning one Super Bowl and leading the Seahawks to another. He has made three Pro Bowls, has a career passer rating just shy of 100, and has run for over 2600 yards –despite being a sub-six foot tall 3rd round draft pick. The sky’s the limit for Russ, and it will be exciting to see how his career turns out.
Kevin Zeitler: Cleveland Browns, OL
Kevin Zeitler is entering his 6th season in the NFL, and he has established himself as one of the best offensive guards in football. He signed a mega-contract with the Cleveland Browns during the offseason, and is set to block for them for the next 5 seasons. Zeitler is a prototypical Wisconsin offensive lineman: big, tough, athletic and consistent. Zeitler has played in 72 games over the first five years of his career, and he projects to play many more as the highest-paid offensive guard in NFL history.
Melvin Gordon: Los Angeles Chargers, RB
Melvin Gordon’s career at UW-Madison was extremely memorable, to say the least. He is one of the best running backs in Wisconsin history, finished second in Heisman Trophy voting in his junior year, and was taken in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft. With high expectations going into the season, MGIII’s rookie year was filled with a lot of disappointment and zero touchdowns. But in 2016, Melvin rushed for 10 touchdowns, nearly 1000 yards, and made his first Pro Bowl.
Jonathan Casillas: New York Giants, OLB
Robert Havenstein: Los Angeles Rams, OL
Brad Nortman: Jacksonville Jaguars, P
Joe Schobert: Cleveland Browns, LB
Ricky Wagner: Detroit Lions, OL
Derek Watt: San Diego Chargers, FB
James White: New England Patriots, RB
Jared Abbrederis: Detroit Lions, WR
Beau Allen: Philadelphia Eagles, DT
Marcus Cromartie: Seattle Seahawks, CB/S *placed on IR
Alex Erickson: Cincinnati Bengals, WR/KR
Ryan Groy: Buffalo Bills, OL
Lance Kendricks: Green Bay Packers, TE
Chris Maragos: Philadelphia Eagles, S
Tanner McEvoy: Seattle Seahawks, WR
Scott Tolzien: Indianapolis Colts, QB
Vince Biegel: Green Bay Packers, Linebacker
Ryan Ramcyzk: New Orleans Saints, OT
T.J. Watt: Pittsburgh Steelers, LB
Corey Clement: Philadelphia Eagles, RB
Tyler Marz: Tennessee Titans, OL
Darius Hillary: Cincinnati Bengals, CB
Dare Ogunbowale: Houston Texans, RB
Dezmen Southward: Carolina Panthers, S
Sojourn Shelton: Cincinnati Bengals, CB
Austin Traylor: Denver Broncos, TE
Bart Houston, QB
Joel Stave, QB
Rob Wheelwright, WR
Garrett Graham, TE
Nick Hayden, DE
DeAndre Levy, LB
Matt Shaugnessy, DE
Kraig Urbik, OL