Pro Football Weekly announced its All-America college football team this week, which provides insight as to what NFL scouts think of UW players.
The team is selected based on "considerable feedback from NFL evaluators" and places "an extra premium" on draft value, according to a release.
However, chosen players are also "expected to have contributed for the bulk of the season, leaving off some talented prospects who were limited this season. Extra attention was paid to qualities such as toughness, competitiveness and work ethic."
The Badgers have two first-team selections in senior tight end Lance Kendricks and junior defensive end J.J. Watt. That confirms what I've heard about how much NFL scouts like Kendricks, who lost out on the Mackey Award given to the nation's top tight end, to D.J. Williams of Arkansas.
It also shows why Watt will have a tough time returning for his senior season. Watt spent a lot of time thinking about his future during a recent trip to California to receive the Ronnie Lott IMPACT award for contributions by a defensive player on and off the field.
"It's something that I have talked about with my family," Watt said of his NFL decision. "It's something I have been looking into very heavily. Obviously, it's kind of a decision I have kinda put on the back burner now after my trip to California (is over).
"That was my last time to think about it and now I am just 100 percent focused on the Rose Bowl because we need to go out and win this football game."
Among the players Watt beat out were Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, named the Big Ten Conference's Defensive Player of the Year, and Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, widely considered to be a first-round NFL prospect.
UW left tackle Gabe Carimi and left guard John Moffitt, who have been named to multiple All-America teams, were both honorable mention selections.
Colorado's Nate Solder, a finalist for the Outland Trophy won by Carimi, and Boston College's Anthony Castonzo were the first-team tackles. Carimi was one of five honorable mention selections.
Both first-team guards are from Georgia, senior Clint Boling and junior Cordy Glenn. Moffitt was one of three honorable mention picks, including Stefen Wisniewski from Penn State.