Former Wisconsin Badgers are littered all over NFL rosters. Currently, 29 former Badgers are on either an active roster, injured reserve or practice squad of an NFL team (a 30th, Dezmen Southward, was recently waived off injured reserve by Indianapolis). From some of the best players in the game to those just looking for a shot, here's a capsule summary of every ex-Wisconsin player in the league.
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Jared Abbrederis, WR, Green Bay Packers
Abbrederis could be a part of the Packers' passing game as he is listed as one of Green Bay's two second-team receivers. Abbrederis caught eight passes in four games this preseason after recording just nine catches in 10 games in 2015 (although he had six receptions in two playoff games) after being promoted from the practice squad.
The Eagles switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 and by all accounts Allen had a very good training camp. Allen will likely serve as a rotational defensive tackle behind Philadelphia starters Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan. Allen has 44 tackles and .5 sacks in two seasons with the Eagles. He had 1.5 sacks this preseason.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Jonathan Casillas, LB, New York Giants
Casillas, entering his eighth season in the NFL, could be a full-time starter for the first time. He is listed as New York's starting weakside linebacker, although has been limited some recently due to a rib injury. In his first season with the Giants last year, Casillas had career highs in games (15), starts (7), tackles (88) and passes defensed (5) while recording two sacks and his first career interception. Casillas has also played for New England, Tampa Bay and New Orleans since entering the league in 2009.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Marcus Cromartie, S, San Francisco 49ers
A former cornerback, Cromartie was moved to free safety, where he is the backup to Eric Reid. Besides changing positions, Cromartie also has a new number, swapping out No. 47 for No. 20. New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly likes versatility and Cromartie supplies that as a safety who can cover, although Cromartie is expected to see the majority of his playing time on special teams. Cromartie began his career on San Diego's practice squad and has played two years with San Francisco, recording 16 tackles in 11 games.
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Alex Erickson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The former walk-on (and flag football player) earned his way onto Cincinnati's roster thanks to his ability to return punts. Erickson averaged over 30 yards per return in the preseason and had a touchdown, good enough for the Bengals to jettison veteran Brandon Tate. Erickson, who had seven receptions in the preseason also drew kudos from the coaching staff for his route running and hands.
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Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys
Since being a first-round pick of Dallas in 2013, Frederick has started every game in three seasons for the Cowboys and has become one of the best centers in the NFL. Frederick made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and '15 and was named a second-team All-Pro in both those seasons as well.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
Gordon had a rough rookie season last year, especially for someone taken in the first round of the draft. He gained just 641 yards on 3.5 yards per carry and never reached the end zone. No touchdowns on 184 carries with a long run of 27 is certainly not what was expected from the explosive back. However, Gordon looked good in the preseason and even busted out a couple of long runs. He'll once again be the bellcow of San Diego's rushing attack.
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Garrett Graham, TE, Denver Broncos
Graham injured his shoulder in Denver's first preseason game against Chicago and never could get back into a game. He was placed on injured reserve when the Broncos cut their roster down to 53. Graham had signed with Denver in the offseason after spending his first six years with Houston.
Ryan Groy, OL, Buffalo Bills
Groy had a good training camp and stuck in Buffalo as a backup swing guard and center. He even got some first-team reps when Richie Incognito was injured. Groy played four games for the Bills last season after signing late in the year. He started his career in Chicago, where he played four games in 2014. Groy was traded to New England in 2015, was cut and signed to Tampa Bay's practice squad before being picked up by the Bills.
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Rob Havenstein, T, Los Angeles Rams
Selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, Havenstein was forced to start for the Rams as a rookie at right tackle and ended up not allowing a sack. Havenstein began training camp on the PUP list due to a foot injury. He was recently activated, but is currently listed on the team's unofficial depth chart as a backup.
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Darius Hillary, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
Hillary signed as an undrafted free agent with his hometown team and was cut when the Bengals got down to 53 players, then signed to Cincinnati's practice squad. Hillary's dad, Ira, played wide receiver for the Bengals from 1987-89.
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Lance Kendricks, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Kendricks, the Rams' second-round pick in 2011, is in his sixth year with the team and has a chance to be the go-to tight end with last year's starter Jared Cook now in Green Bay. In 2015, when the team was in St. Louis, Kendricks caught 25 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns in 15 games. In his six seasons, Kendricks has 154 catches and 15 TDs.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
DeAndre Levy, LB, Detroit Lions
Levy has turned into one of the key players on the Lions and was rewarded with a four-year, $33.8 million contract in August of last year-- then he missed virtually all of the 2015 season with a hip injury which required surgery. In 2014, Levy had 151 tackles and 2.5 sacks for Detroit. Levy has played in 90 games -- with 83 starts since being drafted by Detroit in 2009 and has three seasons of 100+ tackles.
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Chris Maragos, S, Philadelphia Eagles
Maragos has carved out a niche as an ace on special teams. He had 16 tackles on special teams last year for Philadelphia and a team-leading 14 in 2014. In his career on special teams, he's blocked a punt, deflected punt, returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. With the Eagles, he's also played defense and had two starts in 2015. Maragos previous played for San Francisco and Seattle.
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Tyler Marz, OL, Tennessee Titans
Marz was signed as an unrestricted free agent by Tennessee and appeared to have a shot at making the roster, but the Titans' addition of Dennis Kelly, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, might have hurt his cause. In Tennessee's final preseason game Marz played in 93 percent of the team's offensive snaps. He was signed to the Titans' practice squad.
Tanner McEvoy, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Another undrafted free agent, McEvoy at first saw time at safety with Seattle but was moved to wide receiver and even played tight end when injuries decimated the position for the Seahawks. Head coach Pete Carroll has mentioned he likes McEvoy's versatility, not to mention his athleticism and height (6-foot-6). A hamstring injury kept McEvoy out of Seattle's preseason finale, but he still made the 53-man roster. He had five catches for 128 yards and a TD in the preseason.
Brad Nortman, P, Jacksonville Jaguars
After spending his first four years in the NFL with Carolina, which took him in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, Nortman signed a four-year, $8.8 million contract with Jacksonville. He averaged 50.3 yards on nine punts this past preseason. With the Panthers, Nortman averaged 45.2 yards per punt with a net of 38.9 yards. He's had at least 20 punts land inside the 20-yard line in each of his four seasons and 91 overall.
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Joe Schobert, LB, Cleveland Browns
Schobert was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and quickly stood out in Browns camp. He did enough to unseat returning starter Nate Orchard on Cleveland's depth chart at outside linebacker. Schobert had 10 tackles and a sack in the preseason. "[Schobert] did what we asked him to do," said first-year Browns head coach Hue Jackson said. "That’s our calling card here -- players that play the way we want them to play."
Joel Stave, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Stave, the winningest quarterback in Wisconsin history, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings. It appears to have been a fortuitous decision. His major competition in training camp, Taylor Heinicke, was injured off the field, leaving Stave to get the bulk of the snaps in the preseason (and he even started the fourth game). He completed 28 of 51 passes (54.9 percent) for 285 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, a 62.9 QB rating. Minnesota elected to go with two QBs on its active roster (veterans Sam Bradford, acquired after Teddy Bridgewater was hurt, and Shaun Hill). Stave was signed to the practice squad and a promotion to the NFL would seem likely if one of the two others is hurt. Heinicke was placed on the non-football injury list, meaning he is out at least the first six weeks. After that, it will be interesting to see what happens with Stave.
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Joe Thomas, OT, Cleveland Browns
Talk about carving out a Hall of Fame career in relative anonymity. Since being selected with the third-overall pick in the 2007 draft, Thomas has started every game in all nine years with Cleveland. He's also made the Pro Bowl every season -- he's only the eighth player to do that in his first nine years; the other seven are in the Hall of Fame -- and has been named an All-Pro in each of the last eight seasons, making the first team six times, including six of the last seven years. The bad news: In his nine years, Thomas has been on a winning team just once (his rookie year) and has never played in a playoff game.
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Scott Tolzien, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Once considered a longshot to even play at Wisconsin, Tolzien has carved out a nice career as a backup in the NFL. After spending training camp and preseason with San Diego as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Tolzien played two years in San Francisco and three years in Green Bay before signing a two-year contract with Indianapolis this past offseason to be Andrew Luck's backup. In his five NFL seasons, Tolzien has appeared in just six games -- all with the Packers -- with two starts, both in 2013 after Aaron Rodgers and Seneca Wallace were injured. Tolzien has thrown 91 passes, all but one coming in '13, completing 61.5 percent for 721 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.
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Austin Traylor, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Traylor was invited on a tryout basis to Dallas' minicamp and made enough of an impression that the Cowboys signed him and brought him to training camp. He then gained notice for his blocking ability and was thought to have a shot at the 53-man roster, but Dallas kept only three tight ends. The Cowboys signed Traylor to their practice squad.
Kraig Urbik, OL, Miami Dolphins
Urbik was a third-round pick of Pittsburgh in 2009, but didn't play a game that season for the Steelers and was waived the next year. After six years in Buffalo, where he played in 84 games with 57 starts, Urbik signed with the Dolphins as a free agent this past offseason. He is currently listed as Miami's third-string center but could fill in at any spot along the offensive line.
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Rick Wagner, OT, Baltimore Ravens
The former walk-on was drafted in the fifth round in 2013 by Baltimore and wasn't expected to contribute immediately, however he had to play in the opener after Michael Oher was injured. Wagner played in all 16 games that season, often at tight end in the jumbo package (he actually had two starts as a tight end). He was named the Ravens' starting right tackle in 2014 and has held down that job ever since. Wagner is scheduled to be a free agent next year and could be in line for a nice payday.
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Derek Watt, FB, San Diego Chargers
Watt was selected in the sixth round of this year's draft by San Diego, reuniting him with his old Badgers backfield mate Gordon. Despite not getting a carry or reception in the preseason, he beat out undrafted free agent Chris Swain (who had seven rushes and one catch) and is the only fullback on the Chargers' roster.
The No. 11 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft (QBs Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert were selected before him), Watt has turned himself into arguably the best defensive player in the league. He has never missed a game in his five seasons and has started them all. In those 80 games, Watt has 371 tackles, 74.5 sacks (including two years when he had 20.5), 45 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries. He has been named Defensive Player of the Year three times and was the Player of the Year I 2014. Watt missed training camp and the preseason after undergoing offseason back surgery, but has been cleared to play in Houston's opener.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
James White, RB, New England Patriots
A fourth-round pick in 2014, White didn't play much in his rookie season, appearing in just three games. In 2015, White played in 14 regular-season games, gaining 56 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns and catching 40 passes for 410 yards with four TDs. He also appeared in two playoff games, with six rushes for 16 yards and seven receptions for 74 yards. White is listed as one of New England's starting two running backs, along with LaGerrette Blount.
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Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Not selected until the third round of the 2016 draft, Wilson won Seattle's quarterback job as a rookie and has played in every game since, helping lead the Seahawks to two Super Bowls, winning one of them. Last season, Wilson set career highs in completion percentage (68.1), yards (4,024) and touchdowns (34). In his career, he has thrown 106 TDs with just 34 interceptions. Wilson has also rushed for 2,430 yards in his four seasons with 12 TDs.
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Kevin Zeitler, OG, Cincinnati Bengals
Zeitler has been Cincinnati's starting right guard since the Bengals drafted him in the first round in 2012. He started every game in 2012 and 2015 and missed four games in both 2013 and '14. Zeitler has appeared in the playoffs in all four years he's been with Cincinnati. Zeitler is scheduled to be a free agent after this year.