Winner of The Main Event: Ryan Ramczyk
It wasn’t long into the fourth quarter, when I began selfishly hoping that both teams would start replacing some of their starters with some younger players so I could focus my attention on a more competitive game. Wisconsin more than doubled up on their opponent in both time of possession and in total yards. The Badgers treated their fans on homecoming weekend by forcing four Illinois turnovers and 48 total points.
The game was not a contest and quite frankly neither was this week’s main event. Ramczyk is one of the best stories in college football this year. Wisconsin isn’t Ryan’s first school. It is not his second. It’s not even his third. Ramczyk signed and arrived in Madison, his fourth school, for the 2015 season where he had to redshirt due to NCAA transfer rules. Reports are that he impressed in practices back then and Ramczyk has continued to grow and develop into a first round prospect.
Wisconsin only threw the ball a total of 14 times because quite frankly with how effective and dominant they were running the ball it didn’t make sense to throw even a 15th time. The Badgers ran right behind Ramczyk on the first three plays from scrimmage and had success. While Ryan grades out well when backs run behind him but he is at his best in the run game when he has the chance to pull and pick out a block at the second level. This was very clearly part of the Badger gameplan today. They would often cover Ramczyk with a TE on the weak side to seal the end while Ryan turns almost into a fullback leading the way for star RB Corey Clement.
Ramczyk has also been very reliable as a pass protector all season. He looks like a true NFL LT in his drops. NFL scouts will be disappointed that we didn’t get to see how he would matchup against two premier pass rushers in Smoot and Phillips very often. Again, there were only a total of 14 total passing plays today and only a handful were on obvious passing downs.
The two pass rushers were not shut-out even though Ramczyk easily handled business. Phillips recorded a sack late in the second quarter from the inside on a defensive stunt. Phillips ended with an impressive 7 tackles from his RE position. Smoot never seemed to have an impact on the game and tallied just 5 tackles and 0 sacks.
Ramczyk ranked 30th on my most recent big board and he will continue to give competition to Alabama’s Cam Robinson as the top OT in this year’s weak draft class.
While you are enjoying college football this weekend join NFL scouts by putting your grade on these marquee individual match-ups with draft implications. We will revisit the “Main Event” early next week to see who came out on top of their battle.
#91 Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips, Illinois, Edge Rushers
#65 Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, LT
#1 John Ross, Washington, WR
#2 Adoree’ Jackson, USC, CB
#14 Desmond King, Iowa, CB
#26 Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, CB