Former Packers, Badgers and Wisconsin natives land on 53-man rosters around the NFL
With NFL teams setting their initial 53-man rosters last week, we now know a number of former Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers have earned berths. Remember all of these guys?
Tavon Austin, WR (Jacksonville Jaguars). The Packers brought Austin in during the 2020 season as a return specialist. He's entering his ninth NFL season.
Tim Boyle, QB (Detroit Lions). He was a backup to Aaron Rodgers last year and now backs up Jared Goff elsewhere in the division. He is sidelined with a broken thumb.
Josh Jackson, DB (New York Giants). The Packers' second-round pick in 2018 struggled to get a foothold and was dealt to the Giants during the preseason.
Christian Kirksey, LB (Houston Texans). The eighth-year NFL veteran played his first and only season with Green Bay last year, starting in 11 games and making 73 tackles, with two sacks and two interceptions.
Jake Kumerow, WR (Buffalo Bills). Yep, the former Packers receiver and former UW-Whitewater standout who was mentioned prominently in the offseason drama surrounding Aaron Rodgers made the Bills roster. He was released by the Packers after 2020 training camp.
Corey Linsley, OL (Los Angeles Chargers). The Pro Bowl center for the Packers signed a lucrative offseason free-agent deal with the Chargers.
Anthony Rush, DL (Tennessee Titans). Rush saw action in one game for the Packers last year.
Jamaal Williams, RB (Detroit Lions). The popular running back played in 60 games over the past four seasons with Green Bay and signed as a free agent with the Lions
Bashaud Breeland, DB (Minnesota Vikings). Breeland played in seven games for the Packers in 2018 and went on to have two solid years with the Chiefs before landing in Minnesota this season.
Bryan Bulaga, OL (Los Angeles Chargers). Another familiar veteran offensive lineman played in 10 games for L.A. last year after nine seasons with the Packers.
Kyler Fackrell, LB (Los Angeles Chargers). Fackrell started nine games for the Giants last year, his first season outside of Green Bay after four years with the Packers.
Sam Ficken, K (Tennessee Titans). Ficken was a camp cut by the Packers in 2019.
Jimmy Graham, TE (Chicago Bears). After two seasons in Green Bay, Graham caught 50 passes with Chicago last year for 456 yards and eight touchdowns.
Lawrence Guy, DL (New England Patriots). Drafted in the seventh round in 2011, Guy was only a practice-squad player for the Packers but has gone on to play nine seasons thereafter, including the last four with New England, playing all but two games in that stretch.
Casey Hayward, DB (Las Vegas Raiders). After five productive seasons with the Chargers, including 14 interceptions, Hayward joins the Raiders this year. He played in Green Bay from 2012-15.
Taysom Hill, QB (New Orleans Saints). He never played for the Packers, but the former Green Bay preseason standout has carved out an interesting gadget niche with the Saints, much to the chagrin of Packers fans who didn't want to see Green Bay keep Brett Hundley over Hill.
Micah Hyde, DB (Buffalo Bills). After four years in Green Bay, he remains one of the bigger "ones that got away" from the Ted Thompson era. He's started 15 or 16 games in each of his four previous seasons with the Bills, with nine interceptions and more than 250 tackles.
Josh Jones, DB (Jacksonville Jaguars). Jones played for Green Bay in 2017-18 and is now with his third team after playing 13 games for the Jaguars last year. He's on injured reserve.
Blake Martinez, LB (New York Giants). After four seasons in Green Bay, Martinez joined the Giants last year and recorded 140 tackles and three sacks.
Ty Montgomery, WR (New Orleans Saints). Montgomery saw action in six games last year and will be one of the few receiving options available for the Week 1 battle with the Packers. He played in Green Bay from 2015-18.
Christian Ringo, DT (New Orleans Saints). Ringo appeared in eight games for the Packers in 2016 and has played since for the Lions and Bengals. This is his second year with the Saints but he did not play in 2020.
Jason Spriggs, OL (Atlanta Falcons). Spriggs didn't work out as a second-round pick for the Packers, but he's about to enter a fifth year in the league after appearing in eight games last year for the Bears.
JC Tretter, OL (Cleveland Browns). Once Green Bay's starting center, he's played four years with the Browns and started every game. He's also been president of the players association since 2020.
Greg Van Roten, OL (New York Jets). He played in 10 games for the Packers in 2012-13 and has since seen action each of the past four seasons with the Panthers and Jets.
Zack Baun, LB (New Orleans Saints). The Brown Deer alumnus played in 15 games last year as a rookie with three starts.
Tyler Biadasz, OL (Dallas Cowboys). The Amherst native saw action in 12 games as a rookie last year, including four starts at center.
Vince Biegel, LB (Miami Dolphins). It's been a career mixed with injuries for the Wisconsin Rapids native, and he's on injured reserve again in 2021.
Quintez Cephus, WR (Detroit Lions). He caught 20 passes as a rookie last year and had two touchdowns while playing in 13 games.
Ryan Connelly, LB (Minnesota Vikings). He played in 14 games for his home state Vikings last year and will enter his third season.
Michael Deiter, OL (Miami Dolphins). After 15 starts as a rookie in 2019, he didn't make any last year but still played in all 16 games.
David Edwards, OL (Los Angeles Rams). The left guard made 14 starts last year in his second season.
T.J. Edwards, LB (Philadelphia Eagles). He went undrafted in 2019 but will enter his third year with the Eagles after starting 12 games last year, registering an interception, two forced fumbles and five tackles for loss.
Melvin Gordon, RB (Denver Broncos). The Kenosha Bradford alumnus enters his second year with the Broncos, where he ran for 986 yards and nine touchdowns last year.
Rob Havenstein, OL (Los Angeles Rams). The right tackle has appeared in 84 games over his six years with the Rams, including 16 starts last year.
Alec Ingold, FB (Las Vegas Raiders). The graduate of Bay Port High School has one touchdown in each of his first two seasons as the Raiders fullback.
Isaiahh Loudermilk, DL (Pittsburgh Steelers). It wasn't a surefire bet he'd get drafted in 2021, but he became a fifth-round choice and made the Steelers roster as a rookie.
Nick Nelson, DB (Indianapolis Colts). Nelson is on injured reserve and has struggled with injuries in his career.
Dare Ogunbowale, RB (Jacksonville Jaguars). The Marquette University High School alumnus has forged a fine NFL career for himself as an undrafted player, now with his third team but fifth NFL season overall (and second in Jacksonville after he ran for 145 yards last year).
Ryan Ramczyk, OT (New Orleans Saints). The Stevens Point native has an All-Pro selection under his belt in four excellent years, helping him land a hefty five-year contract extension.
Joe Schobert, LB (Pittsburgh Steelers). After four years with the Browns and last year with the Jaguars, the Waukesha West product heads to Pittsburgh to pair with several other UW alumni.
Jonathan Taylor, RB (Indianapolis Colts). The record-breaking Badgers running back ran for 1,169 yards as a rookie last year, third in the league.
Andrew Van Ginkel, LB (Miami Dolphins). The third-year player saw action in all 16 games last year, collecting 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Derek Watt, FB (Pittsburgh Steelers). T.J.'s older brother is in his second year with the Steelers and has been a special teams ace.
J.J. Watt, DE (Arizona Cardinals). The Pewaukee native and three-time NFL defensive player of the year will be playing somewhere other than Houston for the first time in his NFL career after a high-profile free agency.
T.J. Watt, LB (Pittsburgh Steelers). J.J.'s younger brother is now perennially one of the candidates for his own DPOY trophy. He's a three-time Pro Bowl choice and two-time first-team All Pro.
James White, RB (New England Patriots). The former Badgers running back (and should-have-been Super Bowl MVP) is entering his eighth season.
Russell Wilson, QB (Seattle Seahawks). Yet another household name, the star of the 2011 Badgers team continues to fashion a superb NFL career, now into its 10th season.
Kevin Zeitler, OL (Baltimore Ravens). The Wisconsin Lutheran High School alum has been in the NFL a decade, now with his fourth team. He's started double-digit NFL games each of his nine seasons, including all but one start in the last six years.
Other Wisconsin college connections
Dan Arnold, TE (Carolina Panthers). The undrafted South Dakota native from UW-Platteville enters his fourth season in the NFL after catching a career-best 31 passes for 438 yards with Arizona in 2020.
Derek Carrier, TE (Las Vegas Raiders). The Beloit College alumnus wasn't on the Raiders' initial 53-man roster, but they quickly brought him back. The special-teams ace will be entering his 10th NFL season.
Quinn Meinerz, OL (Denver Broncos). Meinerz became one of the darlings of the buildup to the NFL draft, and now he's a third-round pick despite UW-Whitewater playing no football in 2020.
Demetrius Harris, TE (Arizona Cardinals). The former UW-Milwaukee basketball player has enjoyed a whale of a football career after becoming an unlikely success story in Kansas City. This will be his eighth NFL season; he spent the last two years in Chicago and Cleveland.
Nate Herbig, OL (Philadelphia Eagles). He didn't play at the University of Wisconsin, but younger brother Nick is one of the Badgers' defensive standouts this season.
Other former Wisconsin high schoolers
Nick Bellore, FB (Seattle Seahawks). A tremendous success story, the Whitefish Bay graduate attended Central Michigan, became a special-teams ace in the NFL and now enters his 11th NFL season (third with Seattle).
Ben Bredeson, OL (New York Giants). The University of Michigan alumnus and pride of Arrowhead High School was just traded to the Giants from Baltimore, where he saw 10 games of action in 2020.
Brandon Brooks, OG (Philadelphia Eagles). The long-tenured lineman from Milwaukee Riverside enters his 10th year looking to bounce back from the injuries that cost him the 2020 season.
Daurice Fountain, WR (Kansas City Chiefs). The Madison Memorial multi-sport standout joins the Chiefs after seeing brief action for the Colts over the past two seasons.
Chris Garrett, LB (Los Angeles Rams). The Wisconsin Lutheran alum became an under-the-radar prospect at Concordia-St. Paul (despite no 2020 season) and was drafted in the seventh round in 2021.
Shelby Harris, DL (Denver Broncos). He was an underdog story getting to the NFL, but now the Homestead High School star is prepping for his seventh NFL season and fifth with the Broncos.
AJ Klein, LB (Buffalo Bills). The Kimberly High School standout and Iowa State alumnus is entering his ninth NFL season and his second with the Bills.
Josh Lambo, K (Jacksonville Jaguars). Initially at Middleton before transferring to a school in Florida, Lambo is entering his seventh NFL season. He's made 128 career field goals.
Eric Murray, DB (Houston Texans). Murray started a career-high 14 games for the Texans last year in his first season with the franchise and fifth overall in the NFL. He attended Milwaukee Riverside.
Daviyon Nixon, DT (Carolina Panthers). The rookie lineman attended Iowa after his career at Kenosha Indian Trail and was taken in the fifth round of the 2021 draft.
Max Scharping, OL (Houston Texans). A player who went to Green Bay Southwest, Scharping has played in 31 of 32 games since Houston drafted him in the second round in 2019.
Trae Waynes, DB (Cincinnati Bengals). The former Minnesota Viking didn't play last year with the Bengals due to injury and might be out early this year, as well. He played at Kenosha Bradford.
Robert Windsor, DL (Indianapolis Colts). The Penn State graduate from Fond du Lac is on injured reserve after appearing in two games last year.