Final mock drafts, spring recap at WR, grad transfer visits and Wisconsin basketball’s Not Top 10
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Today is Thursday, April 27, and this is what’s for breakfast.
One final look
The 2017 NFL Draft gets underway Thursday night in Philadelphia. Before the festivities begin, here’s one final look on where various mock drafts have former Wisconsin players going.
Wisconsin ?➡️ NFL
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) April 26, 2017
OT Ryan Ramczyk
FoxSports.com (Pete Schrager) — Denver Broncos (No. 20 overall)
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) — Denver Broncos (No. 20 overall)
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) — Denver Broncos (No. 20 overall)
CBSSports.com (Dane Brugler) — Denver Broncos (No. 20 overall)
CBSSports.com (R.J. White) — Seattle Seahawks (No. 26 overall)
Pro Football Focus (Steve Palazzolo) — Denver Broncos (No. 20 overall)
OLB T.J. Watt
FoxSports.com (Pete Schrager) — Green Bay Packers (No. 29 overall)
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) — Green Bay Packers (No. 29 overall)
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) — Green Bay Packers (No. 29 overall)
CBSSports.com (Dan Brugler) — Detroit Lions (No. 21 overall)
CBSSports.com (R.J. White) — New York Jets (2nd round, No. 48 overall)
OLB Vince Biegel
FoxSports.com (Pete Schrager) — New Orleans Saints (3rd round, No. 103 overall)
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) — Los Angeles Rams (4th round, No. 112 overall)
CBSSports.com (R.J. White) — Pittsburgh Steelers (3rd round, No. 105 overall)
RB Corey Clement
FoxSports.com (Pete Schrager) — Pittsburgh Steelers (6th round, No. 213 overall)
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) — Washington Redskins (7th round, No. 235 overall)
CBSSports.com (R.J. White) — Buffalo Bills (6th round, No. 195 overall)
It appears most don’t believe Ramczyk will slip past Denver at No. 20, though with it being considered a weak draft for offensive tackles, it’s possible he could fall. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, as he is going to be in Philly for the draft and there are few things worse than being the last person in the green room with every camera pointed in your direction.
As for Watt, most expect him to hear his name called by the end of Thursday night, though those who shy away probably have concerns about his injury history that includes multiple knee surgeries.
Still, it’s hard to fathom a team turning down that potential, blood line and production. If the Packers pass on him at No. 29, expect many fans with pitchforks ready to storm general manager Ted Thompson’s office at Lambeau Field.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) April 25, 2017
Biegel is the only other former Wisconsin player who is seemingly guaranteed to get chosen, with it likely happening between the third and fifth rounds. Almost any team can use a pass rusher off the edge, and Biegel would bring that on the first day he steps on the field.
Clement should also get taken, but probably not until Saturday and the final four rounds. A nearly 1,400-yard rusher as a senior, Clement has the production, but his injury history and lack of top-end speed is a concern.
Fellow RB Dare Ogunbowale and CB Sojourn Shelton will either be taken Saturday or go through the undrafted free agent process. And once you get into the seventh round, it’s probably better to go undrafted and pick your spot as a free agent than get drafted.
Where things stand: Wide receiver
Wisconsin is now in its offseason, having finished spring practice last week. So it’s time to look back at what we learned in the 15 practices at wide receiver.
What happened: It was showoff time for the three young wide receivers — sophomores Quintez Cephus and A.J. Taylor, along with redshirt freshman Kendric Pryor — who are the future of the position.
Cephus started off very strong, though a death in his family understandably affected him for the last three weeks. Taylor was solid, while Pryor flashed his athleticism in several practices, and ended up with the best catch of the spring game.
Redshirt freshman Adam Krumholz was a pleasant surprise, and the walk-on might be able to help at the position down the road.
Biggest takeaway: Jazz Peavy is ready for a big senior year
Peavy led Wisconsin in receiving yards and touchdowns last season while also averaging 15.1 yards per carry on 21 rushes. But he’s ready for an even bigger final season.
Along with TE Troy Fumagalli, Peavy offers the Badgers a dynamic weapon and wants to be used as such. And though the focus in the spring was more on the young guys, you can expect Wisconsin to get the ball in Peavy’s hands even more so than a year ago.
Biggest question: Can true freshman Danny Davis make an impact?
The second-highest rated recruit in Wisconsin’s class of 2017, 4-star prospect Davis will arrive this summer and likely have an eye toward playing early. But it’s not an easy thing to do in Madison. Cephus got a lot of reps because of his blocking ability last season, but players such as Taylor, George Rushing and Rob Wheelwright saw just token snaps in their true freshman campaigns.
Working in Davis’ favor is that while Wisconsin likes a lot of its young guys, none are truly proven players. That means he doesn’t have to overcome past production with respect to his primary competition. If he’s as good as his rankings suggest, he’ll get a shot to play.
Though some key players were not in attendance — Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are training for the NBA in California — the Wisconsin basketball team held its end-of-the-season celebration at the Kohl Center on Wednesday night, taking a look back at a campaign that saw the Badgers make another deep run in the postseason.
Among the awards handed out were Game of the Year (upset of No. 1-seed and defending champion Villanova), Play of the Year (Zak Showalter’s 3-pointer vs Florida in the Sweet 16 to force overtime) and Achievement of the Year (advancing to the Sweet 16 for a fourth straight year).
But the clear highlight of the night, at least from what Wisconsin put out on social media, was its version of SportsCenter’s Not Top 10. Plenty of good stuff in there, but the manager dropping a cup of water on coach Greg Gard in the NCAA Tournament can’t be topped.
Fun at our own expense
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) April 26, 2017
Wisconsin had graduate transfer Casey Benson on campus for a visit on Wednesday as the Badgers look to help balance out a rather inexperienced back court for next season. The Oregon guard started all 38 games for the Ducks during the 2015-16 season before coming off the bench last season as they made a run to the Final Four.
Originally scheduled to visit Butler after Wisconsin, the Tempe native will instead head back to Arizona and visit Grand Canyon before making a decision. While that would seemingly work in Wisconsin’s favor, Benson’s brother, TJ, is an assistant coach for Grand Canyon.
Oregon transfer Casey Benson confirms he is no longer visiting Butler tomorrow. Will visit Grand Canyon tomorrow & make decision soon after
— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) April 27, 2017
If Wisconsin is able to land the career 37-percent 3-point shooter, it would go a long way to helping the Badgers overcome the losses of Koenig and Showalter. He’d give them a veteran presence for sophomores D’Mitrik Trice and Brevin Pritzl, along with incoming guards Kobe King and Brad Davison.