MADISON — Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson refuted a report from Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com that said the junior had already made a decision to forego his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
“Draft Analyst has learned Wisconsin junior cornerback Nick Nelson is telling people close to him, including teammates, he will enter the 2018 draft and is close to choosing an agent.”
Nelson started his career at Hawaii before transferring to Wisconsin in 2016. After sitting out last year, he started all 13 games in 2017, earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and broke the school record for pass breakups.
Pauline said Nelson would likely be a middle round selection.
Nelson is not the only one of Wisconsin underclassmen that could end up playing on Sunday’s next year. Butkus Award finalist T.J. Edwards is considered one of the top inside linebackers in the country, with ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr ranking him No. 10 among draft-eligible players. Versatile offensive lineman Michael Deiter may also be a candidate to put his name early.
Depending on the decisions of Nelson and Edwards, Wisconsin may have to replace as many as eight starters on defense.