Giants select former Badgers LB Connelly in fifth round

The New York Giants used the fifth pick of the fifth round (No. 143 overall) to select former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Ryan Connelly.

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Connelly logged 251 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 44 career games at Wisconsin.

Last season, Connelly served as team captain and was the Badgers’ second-leading tackler with 89 stops, as well as 10 tackles for loss and three sacks, despite missing Wisconsin’s final two games due to injury. He was named to the All-Big Ten third team for his efforts as a senior.

A former walk-on, Connelly quickly earned a scholarship and was starting games by his sophomore year due to his relentless play and ability to read and react.

Connelly’s former teammate Michael Deiter, who started a school-record 54 games on the offensive line from 2015-18, was the first Badgers player off the draft board. Deiter was selected in the third round (78th overall) by Miami on Friday night.

After drafting quarterback Daniel Jones sixth overall, the Giants used their next five picks to draft defensive players: defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, cornerback Deandre Baker, edge rusher Oshane Ximines, cornerback Julian Love and Connelly.

Connelly joins offensive guard Kevin Zietler as former Badgers players on the Giants roster. Zietler was traded to New York as part of the trade that sent star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.