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Wisconsin Consistently Produces NFL Talent

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Wisconsin has produced more NFL draft picks in recent years - including J.J. Watt - than you might realize. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.
Wisconsin has produced more NFL draft picks in recent years - including J.J. Watt - than you might realize. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

Wisconsin isn't the first team that comes to mind when you talk about developing NFL talent. But upon closer inspection, the Badgers have produced 57 NFL draft picks since 2000 -- prior to the 2013 draft, they had more than Alabama in that timeframe -- including 12 first-round picks. In the past 10 years, Wisconsin is second only to Ohio State among first-round picks produced by Big Ten programs. 

All this despite the fact that Madison isn't a traditional destination for the top recruiting classes. Between 2006-2012, Scout.com ranked Wisconsin's recruiting hauls 37th, 41st, 26th, 51st, 33rd, 38th and 63rd. 

As we look ahead, the Badgers have six players who could potentially be selected in next May's draft. Here's a look at those prospects, as well as a list of some of the most successful draft picks in Wisconsin's recent history.