Defensive tackle Wendell Bryant was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 12th overall selection in the first round of the NFL Draft today. This marks the fourth consecutive season that a Wisconsin player has been taken in the first round. Bryant joins former Badgers Aaron Gibson (1999), Ron Dayne (2000), Chris McIntosh (2000), Jamar Fletcher (2001) and Michael Bennett (2001) as recent first-round selections.
The Cardinals finished 7-9 last year, tied for third place in the NFC East. As part of the NFLs realignment plan, they will play in the NFC West beginning next season. Arizona ranked 28th in the NFL in overall defense a year ago. Bryant joins Chris Greisen, brother of former UW linebacker Nick Greisen, in Arizona.
Bryant was a four-year letterwinner at UW and was twice named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. A first-team all-American last year, Bryant led the team with eight quarterback sacks and tied for the team lead with 17 tackles for loss. In his career, he compiled 24 quarterback sacks and 41 tackles for loss.