With one week to go until the 2023 NFL season, there are some former Wisconsin Badgers football players on an NFL roster to start the 2023 regular season. Some are more noticeable than others. Who are some of the former Badgers players on an NFL roster for this year in the NFL?
Kevin Zietler, OG, Baltimore Ravens
He will be entering his 12th season in the NFL. Zietler played with the Wisconsin Badgers from 2008-2011. He has been a journeyman throughout his NFL career but has been a reliable offensive lineman. The Baltimore Ravens will be in contention for a playoff spot.
Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
Wilson only played for one season at Wisconsin and that was in 2011. This will also be his 12th NFL season and has had success throughout his career, but last year was his worst season arguably like ever in the NFL. This season, he will be in his second season with the Denver Broncos after being with the Seattle Seahawks throughout his entire NFL career.
Russell Wilson had Nathaniel Hackett as head coach last season and this year, in comes Sean Payton as head coach. The former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback will need to be better this season or the outside noise won’t be good for him.
Wisconsin Badgers T.J. Watt, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Just two years ago, he tied New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan for the sacks record with 22.5 that he held in 2001. Watt was injured for part of last season. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense was a mess without him.
When Watt was in the lineup, the Steelers defense was much different and they started to win more football games. If he stays healthy, he could be in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. T.J. Watt played at Wisconsin from 2013-2016 and is entering his seventh NFL season.
Cole Van Lanen, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Van Lanen will be entering his third NFL season. He was a sixth-round pick in 2021 by the Green Bay Packers and was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in August 2022. Cole Van Lanen played for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2016-2020. He was one of PFF’s highest-graded offensive linemen this preseason.
T.J. Edwards, inside linebacker of the Chicago Bears, and Ryan Ramczyk, offensive lineman of the New Orleans Saints also played for the Wisconsin Badgers and are some noticeable players in the NFL from that college also.