Two Wisconsin Badgers Named to NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team

Jake Kocorowski

On Monday, the National Football League (NFL) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled its 2010s all-decade team. Two former Wisconsin players, tackle Joe Thomas and defensive end J.J. Watt, both received unanimous selections from a 48-person committee that finalized the list of worthy players.

After a standout career at UW that included All-American honors and claiming the Outland Trophy award, Thomas went on to play 11 years in the league after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He started 167 games in total, all of them starts.

On May 14, 2018, Thomas announced his retirement from professional football, but not after playing 10,363 consecutive snaps and accumulating 10 Pro Bowl selections.

For Watt, the former walk-on turned into a Lott IMPACT trophy winner, consensus first-team All-Big Ten performer and second-team All-American by the AP and Sports Illustrated. In 2010, he recorded 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

A first-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, Watt has played in 112 games in nine years for the AFC South franchise. He has accumulated 96 sacks as one of the best defensive linemen to ever come out of Wisconsin's football program. He also won three NFL defensive player of the year awards between 2012 and 2015.

In 2012 and 2014, Watt recorded 20.5 sacks in each season. He lead the league in that category in both 2012 and 2015, the latter of which he tallied 17.5.

The two Badgers joined quarterback Tom Brady, guard Marshall Yanda, running back Adrian Peterson, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, outside linebacker Von Miller, and kicker Justin Tucker as unanimous selections.