The 2016 NFL draft has come and gone. How did the Badgers prospects fare? A number of Badgers found their way into the NFL this time, either by the draft, or just getting picked up by a team. Here is the list of Badgers are close to making it into the NFL for 2016.
Joe Schobert/OLB- The most prominent Badgers draft prospect entering was the Badgers outside linebacker. For his 2015 performance, Schobert was named first team all Big Ten and first team All American as well. The Browns made Schobert the first Badger off the board when they drafted him with the first selection in round four. Schobert is not only expected to make the 53-man roster, but he is expected to start as well.
Derek Watt- The other big “high profile” Badgers draft prospect was fullback Derek Watt, who is the brother of J.J. Watt, possibly the best football player in the world at the moment, and older brother of Badgers linebacker T.J. Watt who is expected to replace Joe Schobert. The Chargers drafted Watt in the 6th round, 198th overall, and he is expected to be the starting fullback week one.
Joel Stave/QB- The Badgers quarterback from the last few seasons, Joel Stave, was highly publicized and polarized during his time in Madison. Many, including myself, believed the Badgers should have bailed on Stave a long time ago. Despite all of that, Stave ignored the noise, kept plugging along, and finds himself in Minnesota on a priority un drafted free agent deal. Stave is expected to make the Vikings practice squad.
Alex Erickson/WR- The Badgers top senior wide receiver from a year ago is one of two Badgers signed by the Cincinnati Bengals after the draft. Erickson has average measurable and an extremely low ceiling. He has an outside chance of making the Bengals practice squad.
Tyler Marz- The Badgers have been known for putting big boys on both sides of the line in the NFL. Well, this was their lone big buy for this draft and he was signed by the Tennessee Titans. He has an outside chance of making the practice squad in Tennessee.
Tanner McEvoy/WR/S- Originally a quarterback, McEvoy transferred to the Badgers to be the quarterback. After losing the competition to Stave, he moved around, eventually finding a home at both wide receiver and safety. He should make the Seahawks practice squad, and has a high ceiling.
Michael Caputo/SS- The Badgers safety from a year ago signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Saints. He is not expected to make either the 52-man or practice squad, and may not even make it to training camp.
Darius Hillary/CB- The other of the two Badgers signed by the Bengals was cornerback Darius Hillary. The Bengals really like Hillary and he will at least make the practice squad and might even make the 53 man roster.
Isaiah Cage/OG- Not a Badgers, but rather a product of the Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds, Cage signed a three year contract with the Colts after the draft was over and could be the first player from that school to play in the NFL since 1987.