With each year in the NFL, the fortunes of many teams hinge on how well they do in the draft. And when the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around, the NFL Power Rankings will be greatly influenced by the University of Wisconsin, which over the past two decades has provided a talent pool of linebackers, running backs, and offensive linemen. As is the case with all NFL teams, scouts have been pouring over statistics, film, and other information about various players, and have been led to believe the 2019 class from Wisconsin may in fact be one of the strongest yet.
For many teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, middle linebacker will be one of their top priorities in the next draft. Because of this, these teams have their eyes on Wisconsin linebackers T.J. Edwards, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Ryan Connelly. When it comes to Edwards, many scouts have compared him to Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who was noted not only for his on-the-field skills, but also his passionate leadership in the locker room. Excelling in zone coverage, Edwards is viewed by scouts and coaches as having great instincts, which may account for his four interceptions and numerous pass breakups.
Based on information from Walter Football, other teams such as the Ravens, Jets, Broncos, Saints, and Browns are also taking a close look at the players wearing the red and white of Wisconsin. After noticing the success of J.J. Watt’s younger brother T.J. with the Steelers, these teams hope to improve their NFL Power Rankings by drafting Andrew Van Ginkel somewhere between rounds one and four, depending on how things play out. In various workouts, Van Ginkel has been very impressive, running the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, which is considered good speed for a linebacker of his size. Projected to play outside linebacker in the NFL, he totaled 6.5 sacks last season, and also had 10 tackles for losses.
And last but not least, Wisconsin linebacker Ryan Connelly may be the best of the best, according to many scouts who have watched him play week after week. At 6-foot-2 and 237 pounds, he has the size to take over a game at times, and the statistics from his previous season at Wisconsin prove this point. With 88 tackles, three sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and 11 tackles for losses, he has displayed versatility that can serve him well on many teams.
As many scouts throughout the NFL have noted, one of the reasons Wisconsin’s defensive players have performed so well in the NFL so quickly is due to the defensive scheme run by Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. A former NFL defensive player himself for several teams, Leonhard has relied on many of the schemes he himself played in as a pro to turn the Wisconsin defense into a yearly powerhouse. And as scouts, coaches, and others continue to evaluate talent for the upcoming draft, the consensus is each of these three linebackers will likely hear their names called early on during the 2019 NFL Draft.
Whetherit’s a mock draft, team and season previews, free agent news, trade rumors, and other information about your favorite team, you’re sure to find it on Walter Football. Constantly updated to include the latest information, serious fans look to Walter Football to get the inside scoop on their favorite teams and much more. If you’re hoping your team can find its way to the next Super Bowl, Walter’s NFL Power Rankings can give you the information needed to believe a turnaround from worst to first is within reach.