After waiting over 3 and a half hours, the Cowboys finally made a first round selection taking Wisconsin center Travis Frederick with the 31st overall selection. The Cowboys had traded down earlier in the evening giving their pick at 18 to the 49ers in return for the 31st pick overall and the 74th pick in the 3rd round. This is a bit of a shocker. The Cowboys needed interior line help but Mike Mayock and many others had Frederick as a 3rd round selection at best. ”This is a bit of a reach”, Mayock said.
Very disappointing for Cowboys fans who hoped that by trading down the Cowboys had a master plan. Instead, they take a 3rd rounder in the bottom of the first round and leave safety Matt Elam, a coveted safety on the board for the Ravens to pick at #32.
Here is what NFL.com had to say about Frederick before the draft.
Thick-bodied interior lineman with experience at guard and center. Possesses upper body strength to turn his man out of the hole, help one guard in pass pro with one hand. Gets his hands up quickly after the snap, keeps them inside. Also moves his feet well to get angles, combo from tackle to linebacker. Churns his legs as a drive-blocker, gets movement. Anchor is strong, does not get bulled backwards when man-up and late blitzers bounce off his chest. Works hard to sustain and finish one-on-one blocks. Regularly used on the move whether at guard or center, fits on blocks well whether stepping up to the second level or outside the hashes. Shotgun snaps are reliable with good velocity.
Girth in the middle takes away some quickness behind the line, takes time to get around the tackle and gets tripped up in traffic when on the move. Gets out-quicked by interior blitzers and occasionally stops his feet in pass protection. Can lose his balance when leaning into his man, though he recovers well enough to get back in the play.
The Badgers streak of providing the NFL with top interior line prospects should continue with Frederick because he uses his toughness and thick body, in addition to excellent technique and flashes of foot quickness, to move defenders whether at guard or center where he played during the 2012 season and probable NFL spot. A top-75 selection is likely.
Tough evening for Cowboys fans. In the war room, Stephen Jones was seen high fiving another person. What? Why? Draft grade so far in my opinion: D. I wish I was a Minnesota Vikings fan – they got 3 first round picks that will help them immediately on defense. We got a journeyman back up lineman – at least that is what it feels like tonight. And, the NFL Network team is laughing at the Cowboys as they sign off. Ugh.