© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Eight Badgers look to impress at NFL Scouting Combine

February 25, 2019 - 5:45 pm
Categories: 

By Daniel Plocher:

The NFL Scouting Combine field frills begin Friday, March 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. For hundreds of collegiate hopefuls, it’s another step toward the goal of hearing their names called at the 2019 NFL Draft.

Eight Wisconsin Badgers are among the 300-plus hopefuls in attendance this year. Each of them will attempt to woo scouts and general managers from around the league.

Beau Benzschawel, OL, Senior

One of three Badger offensive linemen at the combine, Benzschawel is expected to be one of the top-rated players at his position in this year’s draft class. Standing at six feet, six inches tall and weighing-in at 315 pounds he provides a mountainous build for an interior lineman, but he’s plenty athletic; he came to Madison as a tight end/defensive end before bulking-up and becoming one of the Big Ten’s best guards. In his junior and senior seasons, Benzschawel was named first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten. He played in 49 consecutive games in his career in Madison, the fourth most by an offensive lineman in school history.

Ryan Connelly, LB, Senior

Connelly was named to the Butkus Award watch list prior to the start of his senior season at Wisconsin. He started all 12 games at inside linebacker in 2018 before having surgery for an undisclosed injury prior to the Pinstripe Bowl. The one-time walk-on recorded 89 tackles (second most on the team) and three sacks in his senior season. He played in 40 games during his collegiate career.

Michael Deiter, OL, Senior

When understanding Deiter’s draft profile, it starts with one word: reliability. He started a school record 54 games on the Badgers’ o-line – the second most in Big Ten history. In his senior season, he won the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Award and was named a second-team All-American. If the first word is reliability, the second word in his profile would have to be versatility; he played left tackle, center and left guard in his career.  

D'Cota Dixon, S, Senior

Dixon ended his Wisconsin career as the winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award and a consensus third-team, All-Big Ten player. He is undersized for an NFL safety (five feet, ten inches tall), but started 32 games at safety as a Badger. He recorded 177 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions and 16 pass breakups in his career. Dixon’s most noteworthy accomplishments, though, occurred off the field. A three-time, Academic All-Big Ten safety, Dixon already has his diploma – graduating with a psychology degree in May 2018. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in field, too.

David Edwards, T, Junior

Like his teammate Beau Benzschawel, Edwards came to Wisconsin as a tight end and eventually moved to the offensive line. The switch led to a successful career at right tackle in the cardinal and white. He started 31 games at right tackle as a sophomore and junior for the Badgers, and capped-off his Madison career with All-Big Ten honors.

T.J. Edwards, LB, Senior

Edwards came into his senior season as an already well-accomplished player. He boasts first-team All-American, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP and countless All-Big Ten honors on his resume…and was a Butkus Award finalist for good measure, too. The inside linebacker lived up to the hype in his final year in Madison. He had 112 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery in his senior season. Edwards started 39 of the 40 games he played in for Wisconsin, a staple of the Wisconsin defense.

Alec Ingold, FB, Senior

In an era when a fullback’s role in the pro-style offense is shrinking, Ingold found himself in the limelight relatively often. He scored 14 total touchdowns in his college career. On the ground, he notched 77 carries for 200 yards, and through the air he reeled in nine receptions for 92 yards. He was named to the All-Academic Big Ten in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Senior

Van Ginkel is a gangly outside linebacker – six feet, four inches tall and 229 pounds – who doesn’t boast a resume of awards and accolades but did show flashes as a defensive playmaker. He recorded 98 tackles and 12 sacks in his 26 games played with the Wisconsin Badgers.