Ryan Ramczyk, considered by some the best offensive lineman available entering the 2017 NFL Draft, was the last player to hear his name called on Thursday night.
The New Orleans Saints drafted the All-America from Wisconsin with the 32nd pick, the final pick in the first round, adding what could potentially be a starting offensive tackle to protect QB Drew Brees.
Ramczyk’s story, if you’re not familiar, maybe the best of this year’s NFL Draft.
As a senior in high school, Ramczyk was recruited by Paul Chryst, then Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator, to play for the Badgers. However, when Chryst went to Pitt, Ramczyk decided that was too far of a travel for school.
Instead of playing Division I, Ramczyk attended Division II Winona State in Minnesota, but didn’t play a snap up north. After losing some passion for the game, Ramczyk moved between community colleges pursuing a welding career.
After missing the game of football, Ramczyk returned to the gridiron at the Division III level, playing at Wisconsin Stephens-Point. After two seasons there, he made his way back on to Chryst’s radar when Chryst became the Badgers’ head coach.
Moving up to Division I never proved to be too challenging for Ramczyk, as he was a first-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2016, his only season in Madison.
Prospects at the #NFLDraft picked their walk-up songs.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) April 27, 2017
Ramczyk is the first Wisconsin offensive lineman since Travis Frederick in 2011 to get selected in the first round of the NFL draft. He’ll also join fellow Badgers products Rob Havenstein, Kevin Zeitler, Ryan Groy, Kraig Urbik, Joe Thomas and Ricky Wagner as Wisconsin offensive linemen who are currently in the NFL.