NFL Football: Badgers bolster pro ranks with seven NFL additions

Highlighted by a pair of first-round picks and a homegrown selection, the Wisconsin football team added seven former players to the professional ranks over the weekend of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Both of the Badgers' early entrants were drafted in the first round last Thursday, with junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt taken No. 30 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers and junior left tackle Ryan Ramczyk going to the New Orleans Saints with the No. 32 overall pick.

The final day of the draft began with in-state product Vince Biegel being selected by his dream team, the Green Bay Packers, as the first pick of the fourth round, No. 108 overall. The Wisconsin Rapids native, who served as a captain for the Badgers as a senior, became the third UW outside linebacker to be drafted the last two seasons, joining Watt and 2016 fourth-round selection Joe Schobert of the Cleveland Browns.

Four more Badgers joined the NFL ranks after the draft concluded, with senior running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, senior wide receiver Rob Wheelwright and senior cornerback Sojourn Shelton all signing as free agents.

A native of Glassboro, New Jersey, Clement signed on to play with his hometown team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Ogunbowale will join former Badger and three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt on the roster of the Houston Texans, while Wheelwright joins former UW linebacker Jonathan Casillas with the New York Giants and Shelton signed on with the Arizona Cardinals.

Senior quarterback Bart Houston, a Bay Area native, also earned a tryout with the Oakland Raiders.

The Badgers now boast a total of 35 players on NFL rosters.

Photo: Wisconsin Badgers


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