The Wisconsin Badgers have had multiple players drafted to the NFL every year since 2007. Although they don’t have a deep class of talent in the 2021 NFL Draft, Rachad Wildgoose could be the first Wisconsin cornerback selected since Nick Nelson three years ago.
Rachad Wildgoose NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: Wisconsin
- Current Year: Junior
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 197 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Rachad Wildgoose Scouting Report
Positives: Underclassman who flashes ball skills but comes with a very thin body of work. Quick-footed pedaling in reverse, fluid flipping his hips, and stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks.
Works to get his head back around and locate the pass in the air. Mixes it up with bigger opponents, fights to get off blocks, and works to make his way up the field defending the run or screen passes. Squares and wraps up tackling.
Negatives: Bites on ball fakes, gets sucked out of position, and blows assignments. Prefers to side shuffle downfield. Struggled to break into the starting lineup at Wisconsin.
Analysis: Wildgoose possesses solid size and flashed ball skills, but he’s unpolished and will need a lot of work on his game before he’s NFL-ready.
Rachad Wildgoose Player Profile
A Miami native, Wildgoose was a star on the successful Northwestern High School football team. A two-time Team MVP, he helped lead them to a Florida Class 6A State Championship as a senior in 2017. In addition to his obvious football ability, he starred on the track team. Wildgoose set a personal best 10.98 in the 100m and 22.43 personal record in the 200m in the spring before graduating.
Although he was only rated as a three-star recruit and the 64th best safety in the class by 247 Sports, college football programs were not shy in recruiting the speedy defensive back. He held an excess of 20 offers, including those from most in-state schools and a few Power Five programs.
Committed initially to Rutgers early in the process, Wildgoose flipped to Georgia before his senior season. He visited the Bulldogs in early January of 2018 after playing the season under commitment. Following his visit, Wildgoose rescinded his commitment and enrolled at Wisconsin.
Wildgoose’s college football career at Wisconsin
Despite arriving in Madison late in the process, Wildgoose made an immediate impact for the Badgers. He logged 2 tackles in his debut against New Mexico and secured his first pass breakup against Michigan. He also added multiple pass breakup games against Purdue and Minnesota. Although he’d been recruited as a safety, Wildgoose lined up at cornerback in five of his seven starts for Wisconsin in 2018.
In his first season with the program, he led the team in pass breakups (7) while also registering 29 tackles. Even though he impressed as a freshman, multiple unnecessary penalties and his reaction to failed plays raised concerns about his maturity. However, those concerns appeared to have been addressed by his sophomore season, with various coaches expressing their praise for his mentality.
The Wisconsin cornerback continued to be productive during 2019. In eight starts, he tallied 22 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 6 pass breakups. He also secured his first career interception against Michigan State while adding multiple pass breakup games against Iowa and Purdue.
Poised to breakout in 2020, Wildgoose was impacted as much as anyone by the disruption of the college football season. He missed time due to Big Ten protocols around the global situation and saw playing time in just two games. Although he registered 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 pass breakup, an injury suffered against Northwestern ended his career as a Wisconsin cornerback.
Having already decided that his junior season would be his last at the college level, he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rachad Wildgoose’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
During his time at Wisconsin, the cornerback demonstrated he has the size, speed, and ball skills, to be impactful as a nickel-corner at the next level. He impressed at his Pro Day, running a 4.41 40-yard dash. Still, he is coming off an injury and has relatively little starting experience. He also has a raft of penalties against his name during his short college career.
At this point, it seems more likely that he will make an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent rather than be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Some team fits for Wildgoose include the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills, where his versatility and experience from playing cornerback and safety could help fill multiple needs.
Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?
Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.
Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.