Vince Biegel, the homegrown Wisconsinite and Badger alum helped realize one of nearly every Packer’s fans fantasies, drafting an impact player from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. However Biegel is much more than an instant hometown favorite because of his background. He is a potential missing piece in the Packers starting lineup and could lineup next to Clay as soon as this season. Biegel, overshadowed by the spotlight associated with TJ Watt, could be an excellent addition to the Packers and a very strong, if just as good of player as Watt, that the Packers received at a much cheaper cost.
When Dave Aranda, the former Defensive Coordinator of the Badgers left after 2015 to join LSU, many wondered if the top-tier defense had been so successful mostly due to the masterful coordinator. As it turned out, in the Badger’s 2016 opener, the former defense of Aranda was pitted against him and Wisconsin shined in a decisive victory over top-ranked LSU. This was largely due in part to the anchor of the defense – linebacker Vince Biegel. The captain and playmaker for the team entered his senior season having improved vastly over his collegiate career and looking to lead Wisconsin to a major bowl. Biegel executed and, along with Watt was the star of an outstanding defense that helped to propel the Badgers to an 11-3 record.
Biegel unfortunately injured himself midway through the season, and as a result missed important games for both Wisconsin’s postseason hopes, as well as his own draft stock. His injury caused him to fall lower than many expected at the beginning of the season, and hurt his chances of improving his stock at Outside Linebacker. During this time, TJ Watt took the reins of the defense and shot up in the pre-draft rankings because of his playmaking and potential due to his freaky athleticism and brother’s already proven ability.
While Biegel was drafted three rounds later than Watt, the two posted very similar numbers at the combine. Both showed great promise in a number of tests of athleticism, speed, and strength. There is a reason the Packers, who decided to pass on Watt for Kevin King, believed they could still find their missing piece at linebacker later in the draft. It was delivered through Vince Biegel, who was the first to hear his name in the fourth round and, he will soon make other teams regret having him wait so long to hear it.
As the Packers progress in OTA’s and continue into the preseason, expect Vince Biegel to continue to improve as he moves up the depth chart and begins to make a real impact. His athletic abilities, proven character on, and off the field, and backed up ability to win and succeed prove he will be effective in the NFL. When compared to another Badger Linebacker alum, former NFL star Chris Borland, Biegel fits the mold of a hardworking and very talented defensive player from Wisconsin who was drafted in the middle rounds, but should have been drafted much sooner. Time will tell when Biegel first lines up next to Clay Matthews in the upcoming 2017 season, but one can guess it could be much sooner than anticipated.