May 1, 2011
• 2011 NFL Draft Central
MADISON, Wis. -- Five former Badgers, including four in the top 75, were chosen in the 2011 NFL Draft held over the weekend at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. A pair of UW players, defensive end J.J. Watt and offensive tackle Gabe Carimi were selected in the first round, while tight end Lance Kendricks went in the second round, offensive lineman John Moffitt went in the third round and offensive lineman Bill Nagy was selected in the seventh.
Watt kicked things off Thursday night when he was chosen by the Houston Texans with the 11th pick. That was the highest pick for a Badger defensive player since defensive back Troy Vincent was picked seventh by the Miami Dolphions in 1992.
“It’s a great day to be a Texan,” Watt said Thursday night. “I can’t wait to get down to Houston and start getting to work.”
“He was the top guy we had right then and there,” Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said of Watt’s selection. “He’s our kind of player. He plays a hundred miles per hour every play.”
Watt joins former Badger tight ends Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham on the Texans. of the 2011 NFL Draft, held Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. was chosen 11th overall by the Houston Texans while went No. 29 to the Chicago Bears.
A couple hours after Watt was chosen, the Chicago Bears selected Carimi with the 29th pick of the first round. Carimi will be coached by offensive line coach Mike Tice in Chicago, the father of current UW quarterback Nate Tice.
This is just the fourth time in school history and first time since 2001 that Wisconsin has had multiple first-round selections in the same year. It is also the first time since Joe Thomas was chosen No. 3 overall in 2007 that UW has had a first-rounder.
Friday's second and third rounds also produced a pair of Badger names. Kendricks was the 15th pick of the second round, chosen by the St. Louis Rams while Moffitt went to the Seattle Seahawks with the 11th pick of the third round. He was the 75th overall selection, giving the Badgers four of the top 75 players taken. The last time UW had four players chosen in the first three round of the NFL draft was in 2001.
On Saturday, Nagy was the lone Wisconsin player chosen. He was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys with the 49th pick of the 7th round. The five total Badgers taken in the draft was the most since five were chosen in the 2006 NFL Draft.