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May 10, 2014
Badgers in the 2014 NFL Draft
MADISON, Wis. - The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books. Five former Wisconsin players were selected between rounds three and seven; let's take a look at where they landed and how they'll fit in with their new teams.
Dezmen Southward, DB
3rd round to the Atlanta Falcons, No. 68 overall
Most people expected Southward to be a late pick on day three, but Atlanta had other plans. They were obviously impressed with Southward's pro day, where he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and had a 42-inch vertical jump. He could probably be used on special teams early on in his career.
The Falcons will try to develop him as a football player, too: Southward only has a few years of football experience under his belt, and a good coaching staff might be able to capitalize on the raw talent he displayed at his pro day.
Chris Borland, ILB
3rd round to the San Francisco 49ers, No. 77 overall
Borland seems like a good fit for San Francisco, in large part because the 49ers have made their living on defense over the last few years. Borland was projected to go somewhere in the second round, so it looks like the 49ers got a lot of value with this pick.
Inside linebacker is a position of strength for San Francisco, but Borland could learn a lot from Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. He's undersized, but the 49ers picked a tough player who can stick in a tough division.
James White, RB
4th round to the New England Patriots, No. 130 overall
White ended up in what looks like a pretty good situation. He gets to play with Tom Brady, who could always use more weapons as he finishes out his career. The Patriots are getting an all-round running back who can catch passes out of the backfield and pass-block on third down.
He's not going to leave defenders in the dust, but all-around tailbacks still have some value, even if the position as a whole has lost some of its Draft Day luster.
Jared Abbrederis, WR
5th round to the Green Bay Packers, No. 176 overall
The 49ers got a bit of a steal in Borland, but Green Bay scored even more value in the sixth round with Abbrederis. The former walk-on could have been a late second day pick, but Green Bay took advantage of a very deep class of wide receivers.
Abbrederis could contribute in the return game for the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers will enjoy having another good route-runner to throw to. Abbrederis will have to earn his reps in a deep receiving corps, but he could end up as a solid third or fourth receiver.
Beau Allen, NT
7th round to the Philadelphia Eagles, No. 224 overall
The Eagles are still transitioning to a 3-4 base defense, so they picked up Allen late to see if he could stick as a nose tackle. He has the size to take up two gaps at the same time, and was a good run-stuffer in college. He doesn't have to play every down for them, but if he's able to stick he could help the Eagles out at one of the most important positions in their new scheme.
John Veldhuis covers Wisconsin football, basketball and recruiting for BadgerBlitz.com on the Rivals.com network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnVeldhuis.