The University of Wisconsin will avoid replacing four of its five starting offensive linemen next season, as center Tyler Biadasz plans to return for his junior season rather than entering the NFL Draft.
UW announced the news via Twitter on Thursday morning, two days after junior right tackle David Edwards opted to forgo his final year of eligibility to take his shot at the next level.
After earning freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets as a redshirt freshman in 2017, Biadasz took a leap this year in becoming one of the best centers in the country. He was named a consensus first-team All-Big Ten player and arguably performed as well as any other Badgers lineman in a group full of NFL talent.
“At the beginning of the season, I knew I had a pretty good shot (at the NFL) if I could get some stuff down,” Biadasz said last month. “Last year I could compare myself to the centers that did go in the draft. I thought, if I can get this down or these little things, like my footwork and my hand placement and all that stuff, that I can be elite. But obviously it gets more real as it goes along.”
Biadasz submitted information to the NFL College Advisory Committee last month but has not revealed publicly what grade he received.
Last month, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rated Biadasz as the fourth-best center in this year’s draft class if he chose to leave UW early.
“I think he should be an All-American,” Edwards said last month. “I think he should be one of the best centers in the country. He’s going to be a great player. He is a great player.”
Biadasz has two years of college eligibility remaining and, like Edwards, will likely face a similar decision about the NFL after next season. Edwards opted to return to UW after his redshirt sophomore season in 2017, when he received a second-round grade from the NFL College Advisory Committee, before deciding to enter the 2019 NFL Draft this week.
With Biadasz’s return, the Badgers only need to replace three of their five starting offensive linemen next season – Edwards and senior guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel.
Jon Dietzen could shift back to left guard after splitting time with Cole Van Lanen at left tackle this season. Sophomore Kayden Lyles could emerge as the favorite to start at right guard, while Jason Erdmann and Josh Seltzner may add even more competition and depth inside. Sophomore Logan Bruss and true freshman Logan Brown could compete to replace Edwards at right tackle.