NFL Prospect Matchups: Wisconsin vs. Michigan

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

A huge matchup in the Big Ten pits two teams presently ranked in the top 15 nationally that hope to position themselves for postseason play. If Michigan does not win this game, their regular-season finale against rival Ohio State loses some luster. If the Badgers can’t beat the Wolverines, the team is likely looking at a second-tier bowl game unless they win the conference title. Regardless of the outcome, there will be some fantastic battles on the edges of the line of scrimmage.

Up until the injury which sidelined him a week ago against Maryland, Rashan Gary had flashed the skills and ability that will make him a top-10 pick in next April’s draft. He’s an explosive athlete with great edge speed, playing balance and upside potential.

As opponents have shifted blocking schemes towards Gary, teammate Chase Winovich has picked up the slack. 

Entering the season with late-round draft grades, Winovich has improved to the middle rounds with his play, totaling 10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks at the midway point of the campaign.

The Wolverines have not played an offensive line as talented as the one the Badgers will field on Saturday.

Wisconsin lines up five draftable prospects on the offensive line, including tackle David Edwards, a top-15 selection on our board. Edwards is a right tackle with weak-side potential.

The times Edwards faces off against Gary could be classic -- a great pass rusher against a large, athletic blocker with a complete game. 

I do think Michigan could exploit the left side of the Badgers line, where Jon Dietzen protects the blind side.

Dietzen is also a big blocker but lacks the mobility and agility of Edwards. Specifically watch when Winovich faces off against Dietzen, as we’ve given both prospects almost identical grades on our board.

NFL Prospects: Wisconsin-Michigan

Grade

Round

Full Name

School

Pos

Yr

#

4.12

1st

Rashan Gary

Michigan

DE

3Jr

3

4.05

1st

David Edwards

Wisconsin

T

4Jr

79

3.85

2nd

Shea Patterson

Michigan

QB

3Jr

2

3.83

2nd

Zach Gentry

Michigan

TE

4Jr

83

3.70

2-3

Tyler Biadasz

Wisconsin

C

3So

61

3.68

3rd

T.J. Edwards

Wisconsin

ILB

5Sr

53

3.65

3rd

Khaleke Hudson

Michigan

S

3Jr

7

3.55

4th

Ryan Connelly

Wisconsin

ILB

5Sr

43

3.50

4th

Chase Winovich

Michigan

DE

5Sr

15

3.49

4-5

Jon Dietzen

Wisconsin

G

4Jr

67

3.48

5th

Michael Deiter

Wisconsin

G

5Sr

63

3.45

5th

Beau Benzschawel

Wisconsin

G

5Sr

66

3.41

5th

Josh Metellus

Michigan

S

3Jr

14

3.38

5-6

D'Cota Dixon

Wisconsin

S

5Sr

14

3.37

6th

Kyle Penniston

Wisconsin

TE

4Jr

49

3.34

6th

Chris Evans

Michigan

RB

3Jr

12

3.27

7th

Dontye Carriere-Williams

Wisconsin

CB

3So

29

3.25

FA

Ben Bredeson

Michigan

G

3Jr

74

3.15

FA

David Long

Michigan

CB

3Jr

22

3.15

FA

Andrew Van Ginkel

Wisconsin

OLB

4Sr

17

3.12

FA

Karan Higdon

Michigan

RB

4Sr

22

3.02

FA

Tyree Kinnel

Michigan

S

4Sr

23

3.00

FA

Grant Newsome

Michigan

T

3Jr

77

3.00

FA

Alex Hornibrook

Wisconsin

QB

4Jr

12

3.00

FA

Alec Ingold

Wisconsin

FB

4Sr

45

2.98

FA

Chris James

Wisconsin

RB

5Sr

5

2.85

FA

Olive Sagapolu

Wisconsin

DT

4Sr

99

2.80

FA

Bryan Mone

Michigan

DT

5Sr

90

2.79

FA

Juwann Bushell-Beatty

Michigan

T

5Sr

76

2.71

FA

Noah Furbush

Michigan

ILB

5Sr

59

Starting next Wednesday, join Tony Pauline & Chris Tripodi on the BLEAV podcast network for The Draft Analysts, 30 minutes of nothing but NFL Draft talk!