Wisconsin RBs within the NFL: Jonathan Taylor, Melvin Gordon amongst Badgers starring in NFL backfields

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There’s nothing that faculty soccer followers love discussing greater than which packages churn out the perfect gamers at every place. The debates and battles over which colleges are “QB U” and “DB U’ have been occurring on social media platforms for fairly a while now.

The battle for “RB U” is one that does not come up for debate as a lot. Why? As a result of it is fairly clear that a few colleges maintain an enormous benefit over the sphere.

A type of colleges is Wisconsin. The Large Ten program has lengthy held one of many nation’s finest run-oriented offenses and has a knack for churning out high quality offensive linemen and operating backs. In actual fact, since 2000, eight Wisconsin operating backs have been drafted into the NFL.

NFL followers are going to get an excellent take a look at the perfect Wisconsin backs within the NFL throughout Week 7. Jonathan Taylor and Melvin Gordon are each enjoying in prime-time for the Colts and Broncos respectively. 

Taylor will look to proceed his ascension towards the 49ers after he racked up 145 dashing yards on simply 10 carries towards the Texans in Week 6. In the meantime, Gordon will wish to construct upon his stable season towards the banged-up Browns.

No matter their outcomes this week, each runners will proceed to be robust ambassadors for Wisconsin and its storied historical past on the operating again spot.

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Wisconsin RBs drafted into the NFL

Wisconsin has had 23 operating backs drafted in its historical past. Twenty-two of them had been chosen within the NFL draft whereas one was chosen within the AFL draft.

School Soccer Corridor of Famer Ron Dayne is the highest-drafted Wisconsin operating again. He was chosen eleventh general in 2000 by the Giants. He and Gordon are the one two Wisconsin RBs to be drafted within the first spherical. 

12 months Title Spherical (Decide) Group
1953 Harland Carr 14 (161) Bears
1958 Dan Lewis 6 (73) Lions
1963 Tom Neumann* 17 (135) Patriots
1965 Rick Reichardt 17 (238) Colts
1965 Ralph Kurek 20 (269) Bears
1970 Joe Dawkins 10 (248) Oilers
1972 Lance Moon 7 (171) Falcons
1972 Alan Thompson 14 (363) Cowboys
1973 Rufus Ferguson 16 (404) Falcons
1979 Ira Matthews 6 (142) Raiders
1985 Gary Ellerson 7 (182) Packers
1987 Joe Armentrout 9 (224) Buccaneers
1987 Larry Emery 12 (320) Falcons
1994 Mark Montgomery 7 (206) Eagles
1995 Terrell Fletcher 2 (51) Chargers
2000 Ron Dayne 1 (11) Giants
2001 Michael Bennett 1 (27) Vikings
2005 Anthony Davis 7 (243) Colts
2006 Brian Calhoun 3 (74) Lions
2013 Montee Ball 2 (58) Broncos
2014 James White 4 (130) Patriots
2015 Melvin Gordon 1 (15) Chargers
2020 Jonathan Taylor 2 (41) Colts

* Denotes AFL draft choice

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Present Wisconsin RBs within the NFL

There are 5 Wisconsin operating backs at present on NFL rosters. They embrace the three most lately drafted gamers and a few undrafted free brokers which have made an impression throughout their NFL careers.

Jonathan Taylor, Colts

Taylor was drafted within the second spherical by the Colts within the 2020 NFL Draft. He graduated Wisconsin with the second-most dashing yards in historical past behind solely Dayne, who leads all of faculty soccer in whole dashing yards.

Taylor had a robust rookie season and racked up 1,468 scrimmage yards and 12 TDs whereas beginning 13 of 15 video games for Indy. To this point in 2021, he has averaged 5.4 yards per carry and had the longest run within the NFL via six weeks, an 83-yarder towards the Texans.

Melvin Gordon, Broncos

Gordon was chosen within the first spherical of the 2015 NFL Draft by San Diego. He spent the primary 5 years of his NFL profession with the Chargers, however he has been in Denver every of the final two seasons. Like Taylor, Gordon is a well-rounded, dynamic playmaker.

Over the course of his profession, the present Broncos operating again has performed in 88 whole video games, 78 of which have been begins. He has averaged 1,401 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns per 16 video games performed and has confirmed to be an amazing weapon as each a receiver and a runner.

Gordon posted one of many NFL’s longest runs via six weeks. He had a 70-yard landing run towards the Giants in Week 1 of the NFL season.

James White, Patriots

White is the longest-tenured Wisconsin again that’s at present within the NFL. He was drafted in 2014 by the Patriots and has turn out to be one of many NFL’s finest receivers out of the backfield.

White’s finest season got here in 2018 when he racked up not solely 425 dashing yards however had 751 receiving yards and a complete of 12 touchdowns whereas working with Tom Brady. He has gained three Tremendous Bowls with the Patriots and scored the game-winning TD within the staff’s 28-3 comeback towards the Falcons in Tremendous Bowl 51.

Throughout that contest, White acquired 20 touches and turned them into 139 scrimmage yards and three TDs. He has continued to be a key a part of the Patriots’ backfield rotation since then, however he’s out for the 2021 NFL season resulting from a hip damage.

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Corey Clement, Cowboys

Clement went undrafted in 2017 however landed with the Eagles and have become a key a part of their backfield rotation. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry as a rookie and had six whole touchdowns with the Eagles throughout the common season.

Probably the most memorable second of Clement’s profession got here within the Eagles’ Tremendous Bowl 52 win over the Patriots. He caught a superbly thrown Nick Foles go for a TD amongst three Patriots.

Clement has struggled to seek out his footing since that season. He has simply 29 whole touches since 2019 and has bounced from the Eagles to the Giants to the Cowboys on a tour of the NFC East.

Dare Ogunbowale, Jaguars 

Ogunbowale additionally went undrafted in 2017 and carved out a distinct segment for himself within the NFL. He did not report a contact on the NFL stage till 2019 when he was with the Bucs and caught 35 passes for 286 yards. He has spent the final two seasons with the Jaguars and has performed sparingly, although he has averaged 4.4 yards per carry with them.

Ogunbowale performs particular groups as effectively and has recorded 17 profession tackles. He’s the older brother of Arike Ogunbowale, who is among the stars for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings.

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