The Vitals

NFL Team: Dallas Cowboys

Pick Number: 31

Player Name: Travis Frederick

Position: Center

School: Wisconsin

Height/Weight: 6’ 4”  312 lbs

The Fit

With the 31st pick they selected Wisconsin C Travis Frederick. I was thrilled with the pick for a few reasons. They addressed an area of need. They added a 3rd round pick. They also killed two birds with one stone. Frederick can play center while 4th year center, Phil Costa, who played well at both center and guard in 2011, can move to Guard. Costa missed most of the 2012 season with injury but will be ready to go for 2013.

A Better Player Would Have Been

Because the Cowboys have a player in Costa that can play center the Cowboys could have selected Kentucky Guard Larry Warford but I think 31st was a little too high for Warford. Frederick was the right pick at this spot.

The Verdict

Frederick can also play guard but will most likely play center. Frederick comes from a program in Wisconsin that churns out offensive linemen. He has good footwork which is essential and is quick to react after his snaps. Frederick is an anchor who doesn’t get pushed back when bull rushed. He also plays with a mean streak and finishes off defensive tackles long after the RB is out of the backfield or the QB has released the ball.

He has some girth in the stomach area which slows him down some. He is sometimes slow on the pull when playing guard and sometimes loses his balance but regains leverage quickly. Frederick also needs to react quicker when picking up blitzers coming from the middle.

His strengths outweigh his weaknesses (which are all coachable at the NFL level). Some draft experts had him graded higher than Alabama C Barrett Jones. My draft philosophy is to draft for need which is what the Cowboys did at this pick (the rest of their draft is another story). Barring injury, Frederick will be the center on the Cowboys for many years to come.