Wisconsin's recent NFL Draft history has been largely positive, with players contributing for their respective teams across the league.
A few of the Badgers' best alums with regard to subsequent NFL success are, from left, running back Montee Ball, quarterback Russell Wilson, and, of course, J.J. Watt.
Mark Rebilas, Matthew Emmons, Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
By Jesse TempleFOX Sports Wisconsin
The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night with the first of seven rounds. No former Wisconsin players are expected to be taken so soon, but plenty of Badgers could find their niche in the later rounds: linebacker Chris Borland, receiver Jared Abbrederis, running back James White, safety Dezmen Southward, offensive lineman Ryan Groy, tight end Jacob Pedersen and nose guard Beau Allen.
Wisconsin's recent NFL Draft history has been largely positive, with players contributing for their respective teams across the league. The Badgers have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Russell Wilson), a Defensive Player of the Year (J.J. Watt) and several other success stories. Over the past five seasons, 20 Wisconsin players have been drafted, and they have played in a combined total of 662 games.
Here's a look at where former Badgers have gone in the NFL Draft and how they've fared over the past five years.
Second round, No. 58 Montee Ball, running back, Denver Broncos One season: Carried 120 times for 559 yards with four touchdowns in 16 regular season games. Caught 20 passes for 145 yards.
Fifth round, No. 168 Rick Wagner, offensive tackle, Baltimore Ravens One season: Played in 16 games with two starts at tackle as a rookie.
2012 First round, No. 27 Kevin Zeitler, offensive guard, Cincinnati Bengals Two seasons: Played in 28 games with 27 starts on the Bengals' offensive line. Started games 1-10 at right guard last season and returned to start game 16 after battling a foot injury.
Second round, No. 55 Peter Konz, center, Atlanta Falcons Two seasons: Played in 32 games with 25 starts. Made 10 starts at right guard during his rookie season.
Third round, No. 75 Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks Two seasons: Has thrown for 6,475 yards with 52 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Started all 32 games during the regular season and led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory in February. Completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
Fourth round, No. 122 Nick Toon, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints Two seasons: Placed on injured reserve for the 2012 season. Appeared in eight games in 2013 and made four catches for 68 yards.
Fifth round, No. 157 Bradie Ewing, fullback, Atlanta Falcons Two seasons: Placed on injured reserve for the 2012 season. Appeared in two games in 2013 and caught two passes for 29 yards. Placed on injured reserve again in September, claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars in March.
Sixth round, No. 207 Brad Nortman, punter, Carolina Panthers Two seasons: Played in all 32 regular season games with 146 total punts. Improved punting average from 43.0 yards as a rookie to 47.8 in 2013. Set Carolina franchise records for gross punting average and net yards in 2013 and was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in December.
2011 First round, No. 11 J.J. Watt, defensive end, Houston Texans Three seasons: Started all 48 games for the Texans during the regular season. Tallied 217 tackles with 36.5 sacks, 27 pass deflections, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. Named the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 after he led the NFL with a franchise single-season record 20.5 sacks and set a league record for most passes defensed by a defensive lineman (16). Selected to two Pro Bowl teams.
First round, No. 29 Gabe Carimi, offensive tackle, Chicago Bears Three seasons: Appeared in 32 games with 19 starts. Suffered season-ending knee injury two games in rookie season in 2011 but played in all 16 games for Bears in 2012. Traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and appeared in 14 games. Cut by the Buccaneers in February and signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
Second round, No. 47 Lance Kendricks, tight end, St. Louis Rams Three seasons: Played in 46 of possible 48 regular-season games. Caught 102 passes for 1,129 yards with eight touchdowns.
Third round, No. 75 John Moffitt, offensive guard, Seattle Seahawks Three seasons: Appeared in 19 games with 15 starts. Traded to Denver in August and retired from the NFL in November, saying he did not want to risk his health for the money.
Seventh round, No. 252 Bill Nagy, center, Dallas Cowboys Three seasons: Played in four games with four starts in 2011 before suffering a fractured ankle and being placed on injured reserve. Claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions in August 2012 and released by the Lions in July 2013.
2010 Fourth round, No. 118 Garrett Graham, tight end, Houston Texans Four seasons: Appeared in 41 career games with 20 starts, all of which have taken place in the past two seasons. Caught 78 career passes for 832 yards and eight touchdowns. Set career highs last season for receptions (49), yards (545) and touchdowns (five).
Fourth round, No. 130 O'Brien Schofield, defensive end, Arizona Cardinals Four seasons: Appeared in 50 career games with 11 starts. Has 91 tackles and 11.5 sacks. Released by the Arizona Cardinals in July 2013 and picked up by the Seattle Seahawks two days later. Re-signed with the Seahawks in May.
2009 Third round, No. 71 Matt Shaughnessy, defensive end, Oakland Raiders Five seasons: Appeared in 67 games with 41 starts. Has 159 total tackles with 18.5 sacks. Signed with the Arizona Cardinals before the 2013 season and started 12 games with 36 tackles and three sacks.
Third round, No. 76 DeAndre Levy, linebacker, Detroit Lions Five seasons: Played in 73 games with 66 starts for the Lions. Has amassed 467 tackles with 28 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, two forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
Third round, No. 79 Kraig Urbik, offensive guard, Pittsburgh Steelers Five seasons: Played in 52 games with 44 starts. Did not play during his rookie season in 2009 with the Steelers, was waived and picked up by the Buffalo Bills. Started every game at guard for the Bills last season.
Third round, No. 100 Travis Beckum, tight end, New York Giants Five seasons: Played in 48 games with four starts. Caught 26 passes for 264 yards with three touchdowns in his first three seasons but tore knee ligament in the Giants' victory over the New England Patriots in the 2012 Super Bowl. He played just 23 snaps and four games in 2012 and missed the entire 2013 season. Signed with Seattle in February.