Historically, the NFL has shopped Southern Cal for running backs, Purdue for quarterbacks, Penn State for linebackers, Notre Dame for tight ends and Michigan State for wide receivers.
Wisconsin has become one-stop shopping for NFL teams seeking offensive linemen.
There have been 26 2,000-yard rushers in NCAA history and Wisconsin has produced a record three of them. Credit great blocking up front. And great blockers. The Badgers have produced 10 offensive linemen drafted in the first round, five more in the second round and four more in the third. Center Mike Webster is in the Hall of Fame and left tackle Joe Thomas is on the way.
Ken Bowman was the center on the 1967 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and Webster centered three Super Bowl champions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. Thomas went to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls for the Cleveland Browns and current Dallas center Travis Frederick has gone to four Pro Bowls for the Cowboys.
Webster started 217 games in his NFL career, Tampa Bay tackle Paul Gruber 183, Thomas 167, Green Bay tackle Mark Rauscher 132, center Casey Rabach 118, guard Jeff Dellenbach 115, Bowman 106 and guard Kevin Zeitler 103. In addition, Dan Turk spent 15 seasons and Mike Schneck 11 as NFL deep snappers.
Here’s Wisconsin’s all-time NFL team:
QB Russell Wilson, 5 Pro Bowl, 2015 NFL passing champion
RB Alan "The Horse" Ameche, 1950s NFL all-decade team
RB Pat Harder, 1940s NFL all-decade team
WR Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsh, Hall of Fame
WR Al Toon, 1988 NFL receiving champion
TE Dave Kocourek, 4 AFL all-star games, 249 receptions
OT Joe Thomas, 10 Pro Bowls
OT Paul Gruber, 3 Pro Bowls
G Buckets Goldenberg, 1930s NFL all-decade team
G Jeff Dellenbach, 15 years, 115 starts
C Mike Webster, Hall of Fame
DE J.J. Watt, 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
DE Bill Gregory, 10 years
DT Nick Hayden, 7 seasons
NT Tim Krumrie, 1 Pro Bowls, 161 starts
OLB T.J. Watt, 13 sacks & Pro Bowl in 2018
MLB Joe Schobert, 142 tackles & Pro Bowl in 2017
LB DeAndre Levy, NFL-leading 121 solo tackles in 2014
CB Troy Vincent, 5 Pro Bowls, 47 INTs
CB Nate Odomes, 2 Pro Bowls, 26 INTs
S Dale Hackbart, 12 seasons, 19 INTs
S Jim Leonhard, 10 seasons, 14 INTs
K Jim Bakken, 1960s & 1970s NFL all-decade teams
P Pat Richter, Led NFL with 91 punts in 1964
KR Ira Matthews, 95 PR, 71 KR, 1 TD with 1979-81 Raiders
ST Dan Turk, 15-year deep snapper