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4 Badgers sign with NFL teams after draft, including Jon Dietzen with Packers
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4 Badgers sign with NFL teams after draft, including Jon Dietzen with Packers

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NFL Draft weekend may not have gone as planned for some former Badger football players, but three are getting chances to make the league as undrafted free agents.

Safety Eric Burrell, offensive lineman Jon Dietzen, running back Garrett Groshek and fullback Mason Stokke all signed with teams after the conclusion of the draft Saturday evening. Long snapper Adam Bay was still looking for a shot as of this writing.

With a long résumé built at the University of Wisconsin, Burrell found a home with the New Orleans Saints, according to an AL.com report. The Saints drafted former UW linebacker Zack Baun in the third round of the 2020 draft.

With 48 appearances and 26 starts at UW, Burrell had a wealth of game tape to show NFL teams. He had 126 career tackles, five interceptions, four forced and 16 passes defended for the Badgers.

He was known to rise to the occasion for a big play when the Badgers needed one — he teamed up with linebacker Chris Orr to stonewall Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley at the goal line and prevent him from scoring a two-point conversion attempt that would’ve tied the game in 2019, and he picked off Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan in the end zone last season to help UW keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

Dietzen was picked up by the Green Bay Packers, who earlier Saturday drafted his lineman Cole Van Lanen. Dietzen played in 49 games for the Badgers despite missing the 2019 season in order to recover from a number of lower-body injuries. 

Groshek joined former Badgers backfield running mate Alec Ingold and the Las Vegas Raiders, according to NFL Network. Ingold is the Raiders’ fullback and Groshek has been labeled a fullback/running back in draft publications.

Groshek was a do-everything type of player for the Badgers, serving as a running back, receiver, H-back and special teams ace over his four seasons. He tallied 1,216 rushing yards, 611 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns as a Badger. He played the best game of his career statistically last season against Minnesota, racking up 154 rushing yards on 24 carries and scoring a touchdown to help the Badgers keep possession of Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

After showing his prowess as a short-yardage runner and as a capable receiver in 2020, Stokke earned an offer from the Carolina Panthers, per his agent. Carolina signed former Badgers linebacker Chris Orr immediately after the draft last spring.

Stokke rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns at UW, while catching 14 passes for 105 yards and three scores. All three of Stokke’s receiving touchdowns came in 2020.


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