Monday, April 27, 2009

"The Third Round is Wisconsin Time" Badgers in the Draft

One of my favorite things about the NFL draft, aside from seeing who the Packers select, is to see which Badgers will be selected and where. This was an interesting draft in regards to that, because the Badgers had a very disappointing 7-6 campaign in 2008.

There were six or seven players who had a realistic chance of being selected, but only four would be selected, and they all went in the same round, the third. And TE Travis Beckum declared in an interview, “I think the third round is Wisconsin time.”

DE Matt Shaughnessy - Rd 3(71) - Oakland Raiders
This was probably a reach for the Raiders, but that seemed to be the theme with Al Davis and company in 2009. The "experts" were/are still scratching their heads with the selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree in Round 1 to really give much notice. Besides, getting a steady DE with 173 careertackles and 14 career sacks normally won't bring too much criticism. So, maybe the Raiders aren't as stupid as we all think, though, their consistently poor performance would prove otherwise.

This is a good situation for Matt in the fact he should get some playing time, but unfortunate situation that he will be playing for the lowly Raiders, at least his new boss (Al Davis) isn't crazy or anything, wait.

LB DeAndre Levy - Rd3(76) - Detroit Lions
It might seem like a bad break for Levy to go to the winless Lions, but they always seem like they are just missing a couple pieces of their puzzle. Last year QB seemed to be their main weakness, and the Lions are hoping Stafford can make an immediate impact similar to what Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan did to their respective teams. Throw in TE Brandon Pettigrew and S Louis Delmas, and factor in a fairly weak NFC North, the Lions might just be competitive (or so we have been saying for the last few years). I forgot to mention their fierce new logo.

Interestingly enough, according to Lions officials, Levy's stock skyrocketed after reviewing tape of Beanie Wells. They noticed Levy blowing back the highly touted Ohio State RB on several instances. They found out what most of us Badger fans already knew, that we had a good linebacking corps. The Lions say that they will try Levy in the middle, but that should work pretty well for him as he is used to the smashmouth in your face type of football, and his OLB capable speed should give the Lions a pretty good defender against the pass as well.

OL Kraig Urbik - Rd3(79) - Pittsburgh Steelers
Urbik is heading to the Superbowl champs - not a bad situation. The Steelers will be counting on a steady performance when he is playing as the last thing Ben Rothliesberger needs is to be hit too many times. Urbik was expected to be the first Badger to go, and the way it seemed offensive linemen were coming off the shelf early on, a surprise to many that he was the third Badger taken. Wisconsin is a offensive line power house, and Urbik has been as steady as some of the best. Here is a direct statement off of

Urbik started 50 games at Wisconsin, lining up at right guard 34 times and added 16 more starts at right tackle...In 2005, he became the first Badger freshman to start at offensive tackle since former All-American Chris Mcintosh did in 1996...As a Badger, he registered 45 touchdown-resulting blocks and 325 knockdowns...In his final two seasons, Urbik tallied 176 knockdowns, 15 down field blocks and 26 touchdown-resulting blocks on a total of 1,641 offensive plays, grading 86.58% in those 24 games...During that span, he allowed only three quarterback sacks and two pressures on 680 pass plays.

I'd say the Steelers got good value at this pick. Plus the Steelers grinding style of play fits what Urbik knows well from playing at Wisconsin.

TE Travis Beckum - Rd3(100) - New York Giants
This is going to be the pick I think most people will keep an eye on. Beckum after a monster 2007 was projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick if he were to enter the draft. He decided to return for his Senior year though. A decision that future NFL prospects will likely look at when deciding to enter the draft or stay for their Senior years.

Beckum started off the season slow and then a freak injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He slid to the last pick of the 3rd round, and was the 5th TE taken overall. Beckum seems to be taking it in stride, saying he doesn't regret his decision. It is quite possible he is serious too as he falls into one of the top NFC teams who will likely use him in his preferred role, the H Back. Beckum will be a nice compliment to Kevin Boss. Maybe I am a little biased, but I think this could end up being one of the steals of the draft. General Manager Jerry Reese seems to think so to with this statement to ESPN:

“We think he’ll create some nightmare matchups for us - Plus, he’ll be a friend to the quarterback when it gets cold and the wind starts howling up here in November and December.”

Other Notables
Andy Kemp OG - signed as a free agent with the Vikings.
Jonathon Casillas LB - signed with the Saints.
PJ Hill RB - surprising some, went undrafted and as of yet is unsigned.
Chris Pressley FB - Signed with Bengals
Bill Rentmeester FB - signed on with the Chargers
Dave Peck (Long Snapper) - has a workout with the Bears.

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1 comment:

A.Guss said...

Looks like PJ got the wrong information from his agent or he shouldn't have led Madison PD on that drunken chase.