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Trio of Wisconsin Football Players Are Headed to the NFL Combine

A trio of former Wisconsin football players are headed to the NFL Combine at the end of February.



Three Wisconsin fotball players will take part in the 2024 NFL Draft Combine
Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the Wisconsin Badgers football program, there isn’t usually too much going on in February. The season is over, the transfer portal is closed for the most part, and recruiting for next year’s recruiting class hasn’t taken off yet. But there is one thing some Badgers fans can look forward to; the NFL Combine.

The NFL Combine is a four-day event put on by the NFL so teams can evaluate players before the NFL Draft. Players need to be invited to participate in the Combine.  Some of the events/drills include the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical, and other various drills depending on the players’ position. Players participating in the combine will also have medical evaluations done, too.

This year’s NFL Scouting Combine will take place from February 29 – March 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Depending on whether you are an NFL fan, into the NFL Draft, or just a die-hard Wisconsin football fan, watching the Combine is a great way to watch your favorite players test and gain a better understanding of how they stack up against some of the country’s best football players also entering the draft.

Three Wisconsin Football Players Invited to the NFL Scouting Combine

This year, there will be three players representing the Wisconsin football team in Indianapolis.

RB Braelon Allen

Braelon Allen will likely be the first Badger taken in the upcoming draft. Before the 2023 season, Allen was projected to be a late-first or second-round pick by many draft pundits. After his production fell off a bit this year with injuries and a struggling offense, Allen is now projected to be a mid-round pick.

In his career, Allen rushed for 3,494 yards, landing him at No. 9 on the Wisconsin all-time rushing list. He added 35 rushing touchdowns, 11th all-time.

In his final season with the Wisconsin Badgers, Allen played in 11 games, falling just short of the century mark with 984 yards on the ground and 12 rushing touchdowns.

OL Tanor Bortolini

Tanor Bortolini was the starting center for the Wisconsin football team in 2023. He played in all 13 regular season games for the Badgers, amassing 868 snaps at the position. In those 868 snaps, he allowed just one sack and two quarterback hits.

He finished his season with a PFF overall blocking grade of 80.3. He ranked 12th among all qualifying centers (minimum of 850 snaps).

According to Damien Parson on The Draft Network, Bortolini is a projected Day 2 pick and an ‘adequate’ NFL starter.

LB Maema Njongmeta

Maema Njongmeta had a turbulent final season with the Wisconsin Badgers. He went from being a representative at the Big Ten Media Days to being benched part-way through the season.

Now, he turns his focus to adding to the rich Wisconsin linebacker pipeline to the NFL.

In his final season as a Badger, Njongmeta tallied just 59 tackles, down from 95 the year before. He did, however, add three sacks, so his pass rush production didn’t drop off much compared to the year before (3.5 sacks).

He finished this season with a PFF grade in overall defense of 76.2, tied for 41st of all linebackers in the country with at least 450 snaps. His grade dropped dramatically from the year before (89.9 overall), but the newly implemented defense could viewed as a major contributor to that.

Currently, Njongmeta is projected to go undrafted, but with a good performance at the Combine and a team willing to take a chance on him in the right system, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken at some point in the draft.

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Christian Borman was born and raised in Wisconsin and covers the Badgers football and basketball programs, plus some recruiting for He previously covered the Wisconsin Badgers for years as the site expert for Badger of Honor of the Fansided Network.