2. He Was a Former Walk-On
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about former walk-ons going on to have successful college careers. Many of them have even gone on to play in the NFL. Several players that were taken earlier in the draft fit that script, including No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. Jack Cichy fits the script as well, as he started his Wisconsin career as a walk-on in 2013. He eventually earned a scholarship after the 2014 season.
Walk-on stories are always interesting, as the players who own them often show a lot of sacrifice and grit on their way to achieving success. Cichy has one of those stories, as he walked on in 2013 and redshirted in 2014 before emerging as a stud in 2015. That year, he played in all thirteen games and started four. He racked up 60 tackles (eight for loss) and five sacks. His breakout performance came in the Holiday Bowl against USC, when he totaled three sacks on his way to winning Defensive MVP honors. All three of those sacks came in the second half, as he missed the first two quarters due to a targeting call in the previous game. He also had a team-high nine tackles.
Cichy was well on his way to another productive season in 2016, picking up another 60 tackles (seven for loss) and 1 1/2 sacks in seven games before suffering a pectoral injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Long story short, he showed the willingness to earn a spot on the Badger defense and took it by force, showing that he has grit that will surely be helpful at the next level.