Continuing with my Wisconsin football depth chart preview on the defensive side, today I look into the outside linebacker position. This group has a lot to replace as they lose Nick Hebig. Herbig was a three year starter and was selected in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, there is still a lot of production and talent that returns to this group in 2023. Overall, this is a young group, but the potential is there.
Starters- Darryl Peterson and C.J. Goetz
We'll see if it translates to Saturdays, but Darryl Peterson is playing his best ball right now.
Put a nasty inside spin move on Mahlman today for a sack.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) August 9, 2023
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Darryl Peterson since the day he committed to Wisconsin. He has all the tools needed to be a successful outside linebacker and the next great Wisconsin pass rusher. This year, he should get his chance to be a starter.
In 2022, Peterson recorded 27 tackles and two sacks. That’s not bad for a player who wasn’t on the field consistently. That shouldn’t be the case this year. I am expecting a big season from Darryl Peterson.
C.J,. Goetz returns to Wisconsin for his sixth year. He’s quietly been productive over the last few seasons. Last season,. Goetz was third on the team in tackles (62) and recorded two sacks.
Goetz isn’t a player that will wow you like T.J. Watt and Nick Herbig did. However, he is always around the ball and always knows where he needs to be. I like Goetz’s chances to finally be a starter in his final year.
Second Unit- T.J. Bollers and Jeff Pietrowski Jr
#Badgers practice 19 just wrapped.
Lighter practice day coming off the scrimmage. Mordecai much better, good days from Dike/Williams/McIntosh. Defensively James Thompson Jr. was disruptive and Jeff Pietrowski had a good session rushing passer.
More to come @BadgerExtra
— Colten Bartholomew (@CBartWSJ) April 25, 2023
Similar to Darryl Peterson, there was a lot of hype around T.J. Bollers when he committed to Wisconsin as a four star linebacker. With the depth of the outside linebacker room at Wisconsin, Bollers also had to wait his turn. This year, he should get his chance to be in the rotation and play meaningful snaps.
In 2022, Bollers only recorded two tackles. However, I’ve always liked his game and I believe he has the tools to be able to rush the passer. I am also expecting a productive season from Bollers.
I like the addition of Jeff Pietrowski Jr from Michigan State. He adds more depth an experience to a room that is young and inexperienced. While he only recorded seven tackles last season, Pietrowski Jr had 33 tackles and five and a half sacks in 2021.
I am not sure how much we’ll see him on the field, but I believe he can take some snaps and crack the rotation this season as well.
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