In our series of Wisconsin Football Depth Chart, we have looked at quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. In this next series, we’ll take a look at the offensive line. The offensive line should be a strong group this season. The Badgers had quite a few young players take meaningful snaps last season and are now poised to potentially crack the rotation.
The two notable departures from this group was Cole Van Lanen and Jon Dietzen. Both played a ton of snaps and had very solid careers. Van Lanen was a 2020 First Team All- Big Ten choice by the coaches and second team by the media. He appeared in 45 career games with 19 starts at left tackle. He was selected in the 6th round by the Green Bay Packers in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a native of Bay Port High School in Wisconsin, he will be playing for his hometown team 20 minutes away from where he played his prep ball.
Jon Dietzen was a great story in his Badger career. After retiring after the 2018 season because of injuries, he returned to the field for the 2020 season and and played really well. He appeared in 42 career games that included 39 starts, 24 coming at left guard. He and Van Lanen made up solid left side combo. The Black Creek, WI native is also with the Green Bay Packers as an un-drafted free agent. It’s really neat to see two Wisconisn natives play their high school ball, college ball, and start their NFL careers in one state.
Projected Starters- Logan Brown, Josh Seltzner, Kayden Lyles, Logan Bruss, Tyler Beach
I don’t think there is much controversy as to who the starting offensive line should be, barring any injuries. This group played a lot of snaps last season and are a veteran group that should be one of the best in Big Ten and possibly the country.
Logan Brown is an animal at left tackle. He won’t be beat in the trenches very often. The former 5 star recruit might have the best NFL potential in this group. However, he will need to stay healthy as he has fallen victim to some injuries that could have prevented him from playing earlier in his career.
Top 50 Offensive Tackles Entering The 2021 Season pic.twitter.com/wrTTlu3VQq
— Big Game Boomer (@BigGameBoomer) May 19, 2021
I really like the trio of Bruss, Seltzner, and Beach. Beach has played in 34 career games and can play both tackle positions. Right Tackle seems to be his comfort spot, but he does have the ability to move over if necessary.
Logan Bruss, the Kimberly native, has played in 32 career games in his career. He can also move around and play guard and tackle. He’s another seasoned veteran that has played very well consistently in his career
Josh Seltzner has also played in 32 career games. The former walk on was awarded a scholarship during the 2018 season. He’s a name you don’t hear much about during games. For an offensive linemen, that means you’re doing your job.
Kayden Lyles has had a really good career to this point as well. He’s a solid center after taking over for Tyler Biadasz, who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. Lyles only played in 4 games last year due to injuries, but has 29 career games under his belt. I love the potential Lyles has along with Logan Brown.
2nd Team- Jack Nelson, Cormac Sampson, Tanor Bortolini, Michael Furtney, Trey Wedig
It’s really difficult to get a second set of five on the offensive line. Talent is not the issue. The issue is depth and it’s a good problem to have. There are at least a few others not listed here who could crack the rotation.
Sampson and Bortolini are players we saw take meaningful snaps last season. They are ready for what the college game brings. We should see one of if not both next season and a chunk of plays this season.
Jack Nelson is a name Badger fans should know. Early in the spring season, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph listed his 2 man depth chart and had Jack Nelson at right guard on the first team. This might be because of Logan Brown having an injury in spring practices, but it’s still worth noting. We should see him as a starter next season.
Others to Watch- Riley Mahlman, Nolan Rucci, Joe Tippmann
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